What are the signs of problem alcohol use?
Anyone can experience problems related to the use of alcohol, no matter age, race, gender or religion. Some individuals may be more prone to developing a problem with alcohol, depending on many factors such as genetics.
If you or someone you know exhibits any of the warning signs below, it could signal an alcohol use problem. If any of these sound familiar, reach out to Your Life Iowa for free, confidential support before it goes too far.
- Smell of alcohol on the breath, slurred speech, lack of coordination, nausea or vomiting, hangovers
- Memory loss or blackouts
- Accidents or injuries while drinking
- Drinking even though there are physical conditions that can be worsened by drinking
- Alcohol use interferes with work, school or other activities
- Alcohol use despite knowing he or she will be driving, boating or doing something else that would be illegal if impaired
How does an alcohol use disorder happen?
Alcohol use disorders develop when the brain is exposed to an amount of alcohol that causes structural and chemical changes to occur in the brain. The reason for different reactions to the same amount of alcohol in different people is still unknown. What we do know is that an unpredictable amount of alcohol can cause changes in the brain. These changes cause the pleasurable feelings one experiences when under the influence of alcohol, which makes them want to drink more, even if it causes harm.
Below are some signs of an alcohol use disorder:
- A person cannot control how much they drink
- A person needs more alcohol to create a "buzz"
- A person may feel sick, shaky or restless when alcohol use is ceased, indicating withdrawal
- Even though there is harm to family, friends, education or career, the person still drinks
- A person gives up other activities they enjoy so they can drink
- A person tries to conceal their drinking and makes excuses
- A person would like to quit drinking but despite repeated attempts, still drinks
- Alcohol becomes a focal point in their life
If any of these sound familiar, reach out to Your Life Iowa for free, confidential support before it goes too far.
Want to find help on your own?
Your Life Iowa is always here to help you find resources near you. However, we understand that sometimes you’d like to look for help on your own. Our map will let you do just that.
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