Signs of Alcoholism - Addiction Treatment Services

Problematic Drinking: Signs of Potential Alcohol Dependence

Problematic Drinking Signs of Potential Alcohol Dependence - Addiction Treatment Services

Most people don’t know when they’ve developed a physical and emotional dependence on a substance. Many ask, “Can you have a drinking problem and not be an alcoholic?”

The answer is yes, and only help in the early stages can stop it from getting worse. Intervention by friends and family should happen as soon as possible, but to do that, everyone needs to know what to look for.

Basic Signs Of Alcohol Abuse

These signs of habitual drinking may indicate a growing alcohol problem:

Defensive Response to Comments

Family and friends are the first to notice the changes that alcohol causes in a person. Don’t ignore this input from other people, and pay particular attention to the individual’s response.

An individual who may develop alcoholic addiction down the road will often react to these types of comments with irritation and anger.


If a person makes comments about needing a drink or that a drink would really hit the spot, this person may be showing signs of problematic drinking.

If such a craving exists, the individual is showing one of the first signs of addiction: a chemical alteration to the brain created by alcohol that the brain now demands to continue functioning consistently.

Legal Problems

Continued run-ins with the police or other legal violations that stem from alcohol abuse warn of pending problems. If the individual can’t stop getting into this kind of trouble, it’s indicative of an addiction taking hold.

Issues in Relationships

A person who begins having issues in their relationships with family, friends, and coworkers – as a result of their alcohol consumption – has taken the first step toward addiction. Soon, he or she will have the same problems interacting with anyone, including complete strangers.

Other Drugs

If a person can’t find the desired alcohol, they may turn to other options to fill a craving. The person may become desperate to find a fix. This has the potential to lead to multiple substance abuse problems.


After growing accustomed to the presence of alcohol in the system, people can experience mood swings when that substance is gone. This can include becoming angry or irritated with everything and everyone they encounter.

Promise to Quit

If people who enjoy too much alcohol in their life begin making promises not to consume any for an event, this serves as a warning sign. They are aware that they consume too much to realize avoiding it in certain circumstances is a good thing. People often make such promises around important events, such as a wedding, a work event or before driving somewhere.

Doctor’s Warning

If an individual is told by their doctor, or some other medical professional, that they are exhibiting signs of an alcohol problem, and then they argue with the medical professional or ignore them, a problem exists or has already begun.

Losing Consciousness

If a person wakes up and has no recollection of what happened or how he or she got there, it is likely the result of some form of substance abuse, such as alcohol. Alcohol consumption at this level indicates the problem has moved closer to full addiction.

Expenditures on Alcohol

People developing a dependence on alcohol will begin spending more and more money on alcohol. This may progress to detrimental spending levels that leave the person in financial trouble. This, in turn, reinforces the perceived need for a drink to escape the problems or one’s low self-esteem.

Inability to Focus

If an individual successfully chooses to abstain from alcohol for a day or a week and he or she begins complaining of difficulties in focusing or completing tasks, this person is exhibiting signs of dependence. Withdrawal symptoms will further exacerbate these issues.

Additional Problem Drinking Signs

Other indicators can be warning signs of a person’s path toward alcohol addiction. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) Hangover with Shakiness or Trembling

No one enjoys a hangover, and such an event is not indicative of a developing addiction, in and of itself. However, the severity and resulting effects can indicate a blossoming problem.

If the hangover keeps a person confined to bed for long periods of time or causes the person begins to feel shaky or starts to tremble, this is another warning sign that shows how easy it is for a person to cross the line from a simple hangover to serious consequences from overindulging.

If these types of hangovers become more frequent, the person affected is likely heading toward addiction.

2) Alcohol Use for Moderation of Stress

Most people know when they need to take a specific type of painkiller based on the type of pain they are experiencing, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for reducing inflammation or muscle soreness.

If the body sends the signal that alcohol is the remedy to reduce the stress or anxiety, the person has likely created a dependence on the substance, altering the body’s chemical make-up.

3) Alcohol Inventorying

If a person can list precisely how much alcohol is left in his or her possession, a problem generally exists. Worse still, if the person includes plans for how to replace their consumed alcohol, it’s a signal that the person has grown so dependent on the substance that they’ve altered their lifestyle to accommodate their habit.

What You Can Do When You See Signs of Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse, dependence, and addiction happens slowly, but it does progress. The person experiencing the progression often not see it happening even if the changes are steadily worsening.

Be aware of your friend or loved one’s habit and monitor it for signs of a more serious problem developing in the future. Contact Addiction Treatment Services today for more information about intervention and treatment for alcoholism.

Find Out How to Arrange an Intervention

Children of Alcoholics and Drug Addicts – Breaking the Cycle

parentAddiction treatment professionals have long cautioned parents and children that addiction is a disease and can be passed down to other family members. The extent to which substance abuse dependency can affect offspring has always been in question, as there are learned behaviors as well as genetic factors that formulate the risk of the pattern repeating with a new generation.

Research suggests that children who are born to a family with one immediate relative that suffers from a drug or alcohol problem are eight times more likely to develop a similar problem later on life. This compelling information points to a greater need for education and prevention, including being able to identify and address other risk factors that could act as triggers.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 12% of U.S. children live in a household where one or person is an addict. Further data shows that there are at least 28 million Americans who are children of alcoholics.

“This doesn’t mean it’s certain that a child of addicted parents will become addicted. But, what the studies do show is that since addiction has a genetic component, children of addicted parents are predisposed to the disease – just as they would be if their parent had heart disease or diabetes,” explained David Bohl, a program operator in Illinois.

However, unlike many other hereditary diseases, children have a much greater chance of avoiding substance abuse issues for themselves. If they are aware that these problems exist within their family they have the ability to break the chain through conscious effort. Understanding how binge drinking and drug experimentation can lead to abuse is an important part of breaking that chain.

For people who do get caught up in repeating the cycle, there is help available. Contact Addiction Treatment Services for information about effective rehabilitation programs and intervention services today.

Rising Heroin-Related Deaths Cited in Multiple States

There are heroin addicts all over the world; however, it seems that there is a significant concentration in the United States. Unfortunately, this is the case with many drugs, as Americans’ consumption drives up the demand. Experts are currently working to handle the problem as more states report a significant increase in heroin-related deaths. Indiana, Kentucky and New Jersey have all recently made declarations to reverse the epidemic they’re facing.

The cartels in Mexico and South America have been smuggling drugs into the country for decades. The demand for heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine are so extreme that the cartels are able to use the profits from drug sales to essentially wreak havoc on Mexico cities and small towns along the drug route. Despite a concentrated effort by the U.S. and Mexican governments to prevent the drugs from crossing the border, little has been accomplished in thwarting the trafficking.

While thousands of pounds of drugs may be seized each year and hundreds of arrest are made, due to the insatiable demand for drugs in the U.S., someone else will always be willing to step in and take over the supply chain. This is why reallocating more people to treatment and prevention is so necessary. The conversation has never been more relevant than now.

Trying to pin the rising death rates on the cartels would be misplaced blame. Everyone shares responsibility in reversing these disturbing trends. There are many more things we can do as concerned members of our communities to help prevent people from turning to drug abuse. Using effective intervention and treatment practices to help those already addicted is the next line of defense.

2015 National Drug Facts Week

ndfw2015The National Drug Facts Week wrapped up at the end of January. It is a week designed to enlighten and educate young people about the dangers of drugs and the facts about drug abuse. Children and teenagers often get their information about drugs from television, the Internet or their friends, and then use that information as the basis for their decisions about drug and alcohol use.

Unfortunately, relying on these sources for information regarding drugs and alcohol can lead young people into engaging in risky, dangerous and even deadly behavior. Teenagers are especially very susceptible to peer pressure and feeling the need to fit in. National Drug Facts Week aims to arm these young people with the facts and allow them to make more informed decisions in this area.

One thing that young adults may not realize is that drug and alcohol abuse cost the public billions of dollars. This may not mean something to them immediately, but a closer look at why drug use is so expensive may shed some light into the world of addiction that many children and teenagers do not understand. Healthcare for overdoses, psychotic breaks, injuries due to substance abuse and rehabilitation programs are all contributing to inflate the overall cost of drug abuse.

National Drug Facts Week was launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) . To counteract the myths they get from other sources, NIDA scientists want to stimulate events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug abuse and addiction.

Participating events occurred this year in communities and schools throughout the country, with the intent on having honest conversations about the effects of drugs and alcohol. Observances such as this and others throughout the year are very necessary in continuing to combat addiction, as prevention is the earliest chance to save lives before intervention and treatment is needed.

Heroin Victims Look to Educate Others

safehandsThere are horror stories in every town, in every state, about how heroin has destroyed lives. Heroin takes mothers, brothers, sisters and loved ones every day. For some, finding a purpose is difficult after losing someone to heroin, but for others speaking out is the only thing that helps. Many affected by heroin, either directly, or because they have lost someone to the deadly drug, have begun speaking at different forums in an effort to educate others on the dangers of heroin.

Oftentimes it takes hearing the stories of loss and grief before the reality sinks in for some people. That is the hope of many speakers at these forums. “Drugs like heroin can touch anyone’s family. If you think this is just an old-guy-in-the-alley-with-dirty-clothes problem, you’re kidding yourself,” stated Captain Todd Thomas of the Green Bay Police Department. What most people are realizing is that heroin is no longer a drug of the big cities; it is a drug that is seeping into towns and people’s homes across the country.

Community forums have become more popular as more people have been affected by the drug. In Wisconsin, a mother waited to speak to a group of people after her daughter passed away from a heroin overdose. Another mother waited because she wanted to educate others on heroin abuse after her son attempted to kill himself when he could not get off the drug. There was even a doctor on the docket anxious to educate the audience on the nature of addiction. He became interested in speaking out about heroin and drug abuse because of all the addicts he sees on a daily basis.

While education is a vital part of curbing the heroin problem in our country, it is also necessary to approach the heroin epidemic in other ways as well. Policy makers stress that in addition to education, it is important to focus on intervention, detox, treatment, law-enforcement, and harm reduction. Getting citizens involved in such a serious topic is the first step to increase awareness and hopefully slow down the heroin surge that is occurring in this country.