What is Alcoholism?
Nobody begins drinking alcohol with the intention of eventually becoming addicted. The concept of someone picking up their very first beer, cracking it open, and participating in a “cheers” to the concept of a lifelong addiction is almost laughable. However, what begins as a few drinks with friends can quickly spiral into dangerous addiction. So that begs the question- what is addiction?
The Criteria for Alcoholism
There are many different criteria for alcohol addiction. Each individual set of circumstances bring with it unique criteria, however there are a few scenarios that usually mean someone has an alcohol addiction problem.
You Have Built Up a High Alcohol Tolerance
Alcohol Tolerance is when it requires a higher quantity of alcohol to feel the desired effects of substance abuse. Tolerance occurs when you drink alcohol so often the body becomes acclimated to the toxins that give the desired “drunk” state. If you find your tolerance getting higher and higher over time, this is a good sign that you have an alcohol addiction problem.
You Experience Alcohol Withdrawals
Alcohol withdrawals is when your body builds a dependence on alcohol to function, and the absence of alcohol leads to physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal. Some withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, irritability, vomiting, sweats, nausea, or the shakes.
You Cannot Control How Much Alcohol You Consume Once You Start Drinking
A sign of alcohol addiction is when one drink can quickly send you torpedoing in a downward spiral that leads to alcohol abuse. If oftentimes one drink quickly escalates into ten, that is a sign of alcohol addiction.
You Suffer Negative Consequences
Albert Einstein once famously defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. This maxim can easily be applied to alcohol addiction. Oftentimes when you are addicted to alcohol, drinking and alcohol abuse results in negative consequences. Despite the continued negative outcomes of drinking, an alcoholic will continue to drink and ignore the overwhelming evidence that drinking is only hurting them in the long run.
You Have Neglected or Postponed Activities Because of Drinking
Do you often shirk responsibilities or activities because of drinking? If you find yourself calling in sick to work, missing a friend’s birthday, or not meeting with someone important to you to get drunk, that is a sure sign of alcohol addiction.
You Invest Significant Time or Energy on Alcohol
Grabbing a drink should be a fairly simplistic operation. You sit down at a bar or go to a grocery store, buy a drink and calmly enjoy it. However, if you are addicted to alcohol things can get a bit more complicated. People with addiction issues will spend countless hours thinking about how and when they can get their next drink. This can oftentimes involve schemes to hide their abuse from a spouse, friends, family or coworkers. If you find yourself spending a significant amount of time thinking and planning drinking alcohol, you may be an addict.
You Have a Desire to Cut Down on Your Alcohol Consumption
An addict will be constantly talking the talk without walking the walk. You will open up to your friends and family about a desire to quit without any action. You may even try to quit, with poor results. If you have a strong desire to quit but are unable to, this may be a sign of alcohol addiction.
The Pearson Center Offers Treatment for Alcoholism
Do you live in San Diego and struggle with alcohol addiction? The Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research offers clinical research trials to try to find an effective treatment for alcoholism, and we currently are looking for participants in a research study. The study offers free alcoholism treatment for those who qualify for the study. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the study, give us a call at (858) 784-7867.