Alcohol consumption is common in the United States. In fact, according to data reported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 86.3 percent of adults in the United States have consumed alcohol during their lives, and just over half had consumed alcohol within the previous month, as of 2018.
While drinking a glass of wine with dinner or occasionally going out for a drink can be part of a healthy lifestyle, some people may drink excessively, which can become problematic. In 2018, 26.5 percent of American adults reported binge drinking within a given month, and nearly 7 percent admitted to drinking heavily, which experts define as five or more instances of binge drinking in a month.
Binging and drinking heavily may be socially acceptable in American culture, but they are concerning from a public health standpoint. People who continuously engage in heavy drinking are at risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, which is the term professionals use to describe a diagnosable alcohol addiction. Such a condition can have significant consequences and requires professional intervention.
Alcoholism is a disease that can be debilitating for many, but there are also a great deal of functioning alcoholics. Whether the addiction prevents you from fulfilling your everyday obligations or not, excessing alcohol consumption is dangerous. If you or a loved one has a drinking problem, then it is important to seek help sooner than later. If you are not sure what alcoholism looks like, here are the warning signs of alcoholism.
What Are the Warning Signs of Alcoholism?
There is more than one way to identify the potential abuse of alcohol. It is easy to spot some signs, but others are more difficult to recognize. It can be especially hard for loved ones to spot the signs because alcoholics may try to hide their substance use. This means the warning signs may be different depending on the severity of the addiction. It may be difficult to intervene and to know when to intervene.