How to recognize an alcoholic: 9 warning signs…

Whether it’s the wine with the holiday roast or the cold beer in the evening, alcohol is part of many people’s daily lives. But when does pleasure become a health risk? And how do you know when alcohol has become an addiction?

Pleasure or addiction: how do you recognize an illegal alcoholic?

The transition from recreational drinker to alcoholic is insidious. Often over several years. What’s more, alcohol addiction is not necessarily linked to the quantity consumed. So it’s not easy for sufferers and their loved ones to spot the warning signs. Yet it’s important to react as early as possible. It’s the only way to put an end to addiction.

These typical behaviors indicate problem drinking:

1. no two-day break

Even small amounts of alcohol can lead to dependence. To avoid this, at least two days a week should be completely alcohol-free. Anyone who finds this difficult should review their drinking habits as a matter of urgency.

2. lack of desire

Alcoholics often withdraw into their own world. They have less and less desire to try new things. This often puts a strain on the relationship too, as shared experiences that have nothing to do with drinking are hardly possible anymore.

3. unreliability

Alcohol impairs short-term memory. As a result, those affected find it increasingly difficult to keep agreements in sight. They quickly give the impression of being overwhelmed, or try to hide their clumsiness.

4. roller-coaster emotions

Sluggishness, irritability, excessive agitation – alcoholics’ emotions are in a state of perpetual flux. This is because alcohol reinforces one’s own emotions. But in the long term, the brain’s happiness center becomes dulled, which can lead to depression.

5. Lack of esteem

Many partners of alcoholics notice a decline in their self-esteem. Alcoholics find it hard to put themselves in other people’s shoes. Some take refuge in ready-made formulas or habitual patterns – others tend to be disrespectful, aggressive or even violent.

6. alcohol stashes

Whether it’s the liqueur behind the coffee can or the brandy in the tool cabinet: such hiding places are a clear signal of problematic drinking behavior. The person concerned is already noticing that he or she is drinking more than is reasonable – but needs alcohol as a daily “support”.

7. Loss of appetite and unbalanced diet

Some alcoholic patients have little appetite or eat a very unbalanced diet: mostly meat and cold meats, lots of salty or sweet foods.

8. trembling, sweating, red eyes

If physical symptoms are caused by alcohol consumption, the addiction has already left serious organic and neurological scars. Common symptoms include trembling hands or eyelids, heavy sweating, red eyes and enlarged blood vessels on the face.

9. defensive behavior

The recreational drinker can do without alcohol. Alcoholics cannot. That’s why many of those affected react aggressively or defensively when asked about their drinking.

Of course, these behaviors do not apply to all problem alcoholics. Nor are the signs always obvious – for example, a lack of appetite or reliability may be a sign of other problems, such as stress or depression.

On the other hand, the people concerned need an external impetus to change their drinking behaviour. That’s why, if you notice any remarkable behavioral changes in a family member or friend that could be alcohol-related, you should consider it a warning signal.

False myth: alcohol in small quantities is good for your health

We regularly hear about studies claiming that small quantities of alcohol have positive effects on health. Unfortunately, these studies have one flaw: they only consider the effect of alcohol on a single organ. Doctors agree that alcohol consumption is harmful to the whole body, even in small doses.

If you drink a glass of red wine for your heart health, you risk damaging your liver, brain and other organs. So, in the end, it’s best to give up alcohol, exercise and eat a balanced diet.