Alcohol misuse has a number of recognizable characteristics. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these, please don’t hesitate to seek help immediately. Alcoholism is a chronic, but treatable disease.
Symptoms can significantly vary in level depending on a patient’s age, sex, genetics, background, emotional state and medical health. They may include the following:
- An inability to cut back on the amount of alcohol consumed
- A tendency to spend large amounts of time craving alcohol
- A loss of time from work due to recuperating from the effects of alcohol use
- An inability to fulfill school, home, and family responsibilities
- A reduction or abandonment of interpersonal and social relationships
- A tendency to give up on enjoyable hobbies in favor of drinking
- A likelihood of declining chances to engage in activities with coworkers
- A habit of using alcohol dangerously while driving or operating machinery
- A realization that more amounts of alcohol are needed to feel its same effects
- An experience of difficulty with sleeping, or having increased symptoms of restlessness, sweating, racing heart, nausea, or shaking when not drinking
Repeated and excessive misuse of alcohol can increase an individual’s risk of developing serious, longstanding health problems in addition to dangerous legal issues associated with intoxicated behaviors. It has been estimated that excessive alcohol use causes more than 88,000 deaths a year and that an estimated 17 million people have an alcohol use disorder.
While moderate drinking considered is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, binge drinking is defined as drinking five or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion on at least one day within the past 30 days. Additionally, binge drinking produces blood alcohol concentrations of greater than 0.08 g/dL, which usually occurs after four drinks for women and five drinks for men over a period of two hours. Heavy drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of five or more days within the past 30 days.