If you think you have a problem with alcohol, chances are you probably do.
No one should know better than you; however, sometimes when your drinking has elevated from moderate use to excessive abuse, you may be the last to know.
Many people use alcohol to cope with or avoid situations that they perceive to be troublesome or uncomfortable. Because alcohol is so prevalent in society, it can be difficult to know when you have begun to rely on alcohol and are treading into dangerous waters.
Alcoholism is cunning and baffling, and can sneak up on you when you least expect it. That is why it is so important to understand when alcohol is beginning to take over your life. Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step toward solving it.
Chronic craving and consumption are the trademarks of alcoholism, typically stemming from environmental, psychological, cultural and genetic factors. Left untreated, alcohol abuse can destroy your life.
Early stages of alcoholism can chip away at your emotional stability, finances, career, school and your personal relationships with family, friends, co-workers or classmates.
Your body, too, will begin to react. You may begin to experience frequent upset stomachs, diarrhea, poor coordination and judgment, headaches and trouble sleeping.
If your drinking continues in excess, serious health complications can surface over the long-term and affect every organ of your body. These problems may distinguish themselves at any time in heart disease; cancer; liver damage; stomach, kidney, skin, muscle and bone ailments; infections; mental disorders; insomnia; malnutrition; and impotence and infertility. Most of these problems can culminate in death.
Women who abuse alcohol when they are pregnant can take on the increased burden of miscarriage or bear babies that are malnourished and with physical, mental or behavioral problems.
Problem drinking can also damage the lives of those you touch. This tremendous emotional strain on loved ones can be magnified in separation, divorce, neglect of family and financial responsibilities that lead to poverty, added medical liabilities or in acts of domestic violence. Furthermore, abusive drinking is at the root of half of the deaths related to serious automobile accidents.
If you have a drinking problem or know of a loved one who does, alcoholism has already hit close to home. The good news is that it no longer has to affect every aspect of a your life. The important thing is to get help.