As a counsellor specialising in addiction, Gail Bushell has assessed and treated many men battling alcohol addiction. With her wealth of experience she has compiled a list of the most common signs of alcohol addiction in men.
According to Gail, one of the first signs of alcohol addiction in men is increased tolerance. While both men and women struggling with alcohol addiction develop a higher tolerance, it is more pronounced in men. This is due to the fact that men are, on average, larger than women. Men also have a lower percentage of body fat which is important as fat does not absorb alcohol. Most importantly, men actually produce a stomach enzyme that helps break down alcohol faster.
The second symptom of alcohol addiction in men is a loss of control. This again is present in both men and women but it is often more pronounced in men. According to the IAS, 47% of the violent offences committed in England and Wales were alcohol related. This includes things like sexual violence and assault.
Withdrawing from loved ones is another symptom of alcohol addiction that can be more pronounced in men than in women. Gail said that both men and women experience withdrawal but men seem to do it sooner in their struggle with alcohol. She believes this could be tied to ego or a fear or showing weakness but this is only speculation.
The fourth symptom of alcohol addiction in men is blackout. These occur in both sexes but, because men are more likely to drink to excess, they are more common in men. Unfortunately, blackout is only the beginning of the health risks associated with male alcohol abuse.
Drinking has also been linked to infertility, erectile dysfunction, and reduced hormone levels. More worryingly, it has been linked to a variety of cancers. These medical effects can have a host of symptoms but often there is no way of knowing that a man’s drinking is doing damage until permanent harm has already occurred.
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