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What are the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction?

The symptoms of alcohol addiction can differ from person to person, and also depend upon how much and how often you are drinking. At Life Works, we believe that drinking becomes a problem when a person’s actions around alcohol start to negatively affect the rest of their life.

Our highly qualified team is committed to delivering world class alcohol rehab in Surrey, along with support and therapy for your alcohol addiction, empowering you to overcome your symptoms and take steps towards a life in recovery.

The following are signs that you, or someone that you know, may have developed an addiction to alcohol:

Psychological symptoms of alcohol addiction:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased temper, agitation and irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Defensiveness
  • Intense mood swings
  • Memory problems
  • Being unable to focus or concentrate
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Drinking for stress relief; this can often be the starting point for many people who go on to become addicted to alcohol
  • Experiencing intense cravings for alcohol
  • Finding that you depend on alcohol in order to function on a daily basis
  • Exacerbation of any existing mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or stress

Behavioural and social symptoms of alcohol addiction:

  • Drinking heavily alone and often to the point of passing out
  • Drinking at inappropriate times such as when you first wake up in the morning
  • Drinking when it is dangerous to do so, such as drink driving, drinking before using heavy machinery or mixing alcohol with medication
  • Secretive or dishonest behaviour
  • Finding that you only tend to socialise with people who drink alcohol
  • Avoiding contact with loved ones, leading to relationship problems
  • Failing to carry out your daily responsibilities because alcohol has become your priority
  • Continuing to drink despite the negative effects that this has had on your life
  • Being in denial about your drinking habits – minimising the effects of your drinking, criticising those around you for making too much fuss about your drinking, significantly underestimating the amount that you drink, or placing the blame for your drinking on other people or situations in your life such as “I drink because my job is stressful”
  • Poor performance and/or attendance at work
  • Losing interest in activities, hobbies or events that were once important to you
  • Blaming any negative behaviours on having a hangover

Physical symptoms of alcohol addiction:

  • Finding that you have built a tolerance to alcohol, meaning that you need to drink increasingly in order to feel ‘drunk'
  • Appearance of alcohol withdrawal symptoms if you haven’t consumed alcohol for a certain amount of time
  • Headaches caused by dehydration, which is another side effect of excessive alcohol consumption
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive sweating in the absence of physical exercise
  • Changes in appetite resulting in weight loss or gain
  • Lack of interest in your physical appearance/personal hygiene
  • Disturbed sleep patterns, including insomnia
How Can We Help You Today?

Spotting the signs and symptoms of alcoholism can sometimes be challenging without professional help. The Life Works team can help manage signs and symptoms of alcoholism when needed. If you would like more information on Life Works' alcohol rehab, detox and aftercare programmes, please call: 01483 745 066 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.

What are the long-term effects of alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction can result in a wide variety of long-term problems, and can have a profoundly negative effect on your health, wellbeing and quality of life. The following are among the many long-lasting negative consequences that can result from alcoholism:

  • Legal problems, including arrest and imprisonment
  • Job loss
  • Chronic unemployment
  • Financial problems
  • Homelessness
  • Family breakdowns
  • Relationship breakdowns
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours

In addition, the effects alcohol addiction can also lead to a wide range of long-term physical health problems, some of which can even result in death. Long term physical health consequences of alcohol addiction include:

  • Liver damage
  • Ulcers
  • Kidney failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gout
  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased risk of numerous types of cancer
  • High blood pressure, stroke and other heart problems
  • Problems in brain functioning
  • Sexual dysfunction

This page was reviewed by Robin Clayton, Primary Therapist, (BACP, ATSAC) in September 2021.

How Can We Help You Today?

If you would like more information on Life Works' alcohol rehab and detox programmes, please call: 01483 745 066 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.

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