When alcohol ceases to be just a pleasure – the first symptoms of addiction and counteracting addiction

Symptoms of alcoholism in the first phase of addiction are difficult to observe by people from close surroundings. In many cases the symptoms of alcoholism are noticed until the advanced stage of the disease. Meanwhile, appropriate actions should be taken at an early stage of addiction, when symptoms can be observed by people in the immediate environment. 

Anti-alcoholism measures are implemented by state and local government bodies, however, at an early stage of addiction, the intervention of people in the immediate environment, who may observe disturbing symptoms of addiction, plays a huge role. Symptoms of alcoholism involve changes in behavior and appearance. Addiction to alcohol develops long and unconsciously. People who drink alcohol find it difficult to determine where the limit between the taste of alcohol consumption and the uncontrollable compulsion to reach for alcohol is. Meanwhile, the sooner you recognize alcoholism, the better your chances of returning to a normal life. 


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Warning symptoms of alcoholism 

Before an alcoholic develops an advanced disease and its complications (as further discussed), one can recognize a person who likes to consume alcohol with certain warning symptoms that are subtle and unobtrusive. The person with the following symptoms is at risk of alcoholism or is already developing an early phase of the disease. 

The early symptoms of alcoholism include regular drinking, daily at least 2 beers or 2 glasses of wine, or smaller amounts of high-percentage alcohol. Disposable drink of drinks containing more than 100 g of ethyl alcohol should also be alert – it corresponds to, for example, 1 liter of wine, or a quarter of a liter of vodka or 5 large beers. 

Warning symptoms include looking for opportunities to drink more frequently (eg drinking alcohol with meals), drinking alcohol to relieve the symptoms of hangover 

(wedging), starting the day with alcohol consumption, problems with remembering what happened on a given day after drinking alcohol, and driving a car after drinking alcohol with promils. 

The occurrence of at least two warning signals over a period of 6 months means a risk of alcoholism. The high frequency of occurrence of the above behaviors suggests the emergence of a problem with addiction. A particularly worrying symptom is the treatment of alcohol not as a drink, which you can occasionally drink according to your preferences, but as a way to calm down, forget and de-stress. 

Early symptoms of alcoholism 

The early symptoms of alcoholism include urging and encouraging more frequent drinking. queues during the event, change in alcohol behavior, consumption of alcohol in stressful situations, gradual increase in tolerance of the body to alcohol, as well as alcohol consumption up to the so-called breaking the film. People at an early stage of addiction are irritated when they have difficult access to alcohol, for example due to financial reasons or because of the behavior of close relatives who notice the problem of alcoholism. They are accompanied by a sense of shame, which is why they drink in loneliness, in hiding, so that nobody from the close surroundings will not notice it. 

Risk group 

The circle of people particularly at risk of alcoholism include those in close proximity to eating a lot of alcohol, consuming alcohol from youth (environmental factor), easily undergoing ambient pressure, mentally weak and falling into states of depression and sadness, for whom alcohol consumption has become a way of dealing with problems (psychological factor). 

Diagnosis of alcoholism 

Alcoholism is diagnosed by a psychiatrist, psychologist and specialist in the field of addiction. The main driver of addiction is the so-called alcohol craving, or strong thirst and compulsion to drink. Stopping alcohol consumption causes addicted discomfort. After significant reduction of alcohol consumption or after abrupt cessation of its consumption in an addict, symptoms of withdrawal syndrome occur. 

The abstinence syndrome is manifested by leaps in blood pressure, trembling hands and body, vomiting and nausea, heart rhythm disturbances, feelings of tension, excessive sweating, anxiety and hypersensitivity to sounds. In some cases, you may experience delirium, hallucinations, dehydration and fits. In advanced alcoholism, there may also be problems in avoiding starting and stopping alcohol consumption and limiting its amount. In addition, people suffering from alcoholism have an increased tolerance to alcohol. The addicted person focuses on alcohol consumption and its acquisition, which results in the remaining spheres of life (professional, family) and interests being neglected. A characteristic symptom of alcoholism is also persistent consumption of alcohol despite the awareness of its effects. An addicted person is aware of the social and health effects of the addiction, but this does not affect the behavior change. 

Psychological symptoms 

The symptoms of alcohol dependence include depression. Depression may or may not be the result of addiction. Regular consumption of alcohol may cause mood depression leading to suicide attempts. Alcoholics may suffer from Otello syndrome, or alcohol paranoia manifested by morbid jealousy, mood swings, willingness to control their partner and unjust accusation of treason. 

In the advanced stage of alcoholism, alcohol dementia may occur due to alcoholic atrophy of the brain, consisting in a strong impairment of intellectual abilities. People addicted to alcohol have poorer physical and mental abilities, impaired concentration and memory, and reduced criticism of their behavior. 

Symptoms of alcoholism related to appearance 

Alcoholic beverages lead to dehydration of the body, which is visible in the form of wrinkles and furrows on the skin, gray skin, enlarged capillaries and swelling of the face. Redness and bruises appear under the skin on the skin. In alcohol addicts, weight loss occurs because alcohol slows the body’s ability to synthesize the protein. 

How to counteract alcoholism? 

National and local activities are carried out by the government and local government units, respectively. However, how to behave when the close person has a problem and does not want to take advantage of state aid? First of all, you can not make yourself dependent. You should not hide alcohol or pour it in the eyes of an addict (this is one of the symptoms of co-addiction). This behavior leads to quarrels and the bottling of alcohol bottles, so the problem is getting worse. Do not get into a discussion with a person under the influence of alcohol until he gets sober. People in a state of intoxication can use violence and are unable to clearly assess the situation. It should not be directed towards the addict of threats that are not possible to perform, nor take responsibility for this person, justify it, help during hangover, etc. It is also forbidden to blur the traces of drinking alcohol and the consequences of behavior. 

The correct behavior is, however, a serious conversation with a close person about the problem, but in an atmosphere of peace. Threats, screaming and crying will not help. It is worth citing specific situations showing that a person has a problem with alcohol. It should be explicitly emphasized that alcohol consumption by this person injures her relatives. You should also provide an addict with your feelings and care, which will prevent the partner from adopting an overly defensive attitude. It is worth encouraging this person to consult with an addiction specialist. 


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