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Signs of Alcohol Abuse

The Signs of Alcohol Abuse and its Impact in Washington State

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in Washington State, as well as elsewhere all over the country. It is important to understand the signs as well as the impact heavy drinking has had in people’s lives.

SAMHSA states that a person is abusing alcohol if they drink heavily five or more days a month, which is sometimes known as binge drinking. Knowing how to recognize the signs is important because this is a problem that can often be easily hidden. It does not take long for alcohol abuse to become alcoholism.

We want to help people know how to identify alcohol abuse either in themselves or in the people they love. In doing so, it may be possible to avoid becoming an alcoholic and instead, embrace a lifestyle of recovery. So many people in WA State have felt the impact of alcohol abuse, but they do not understand the risks involved. Alcohol addiction treatment can help. Call us today at [Direct].

Do You Have Questions About Addiction? Call Our Recovery Experts Now.

Alcohol Abuse Definition

It’s legal and socially acceptable to enjoy a glass of wine or drink a beer after a long day. It is a part of many celebrations but there is a line when it becomes too much. So how can you tell if you’ve gone too far? What is the definition of alcohol abuse and and how does it morph into alcoholism? 

What is considered drinking in moderation is when you have no more than a drink a day if you’re female. For a man, it’s two drinks. If you’re not sure what is considered a drink, here is the following guideline: 

  • For hard liquor like whisky, it’s 1.5 ounces.
  • 5 ounces of wine.
  • 12 ounces of beer. 

The amount you drink can also be broken down by the week. Heavy drinking is a form of alcohol abuse. The measurement for a woman is when you drink seven or more drinks per week. For men, it’s 14 or more drinks per week. Heavy drinking per day includes three drinks for women and four drinks for men.

Alcohol abuse is considered to be any harmful use of alcohol. They are prone to binge drinking, heavy drinking, but not regular drinking.

Alcohol Misuse Disorders

As there is a spectrum of different drinking problems, there is now an umbrella they sit under known as alcohol misuse disorders. They range from mild to severe. The terms under this are alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol dependence. The relationship of the person and alcohol may vary but there are similar descriptions which are as follows:

  • A person will have a hard time controlling how much alcohol they consume. Once you start drinking, you’ll continue and not stop until you’ve had far too much. The following day, you will likely look back and remember that was not your plan for the night
  • You will keep drinking even though it has negative consequences in your life. Your relationship may be hurting from your drinking. You may even say you’ll stop when you’re in the middle of a conversation. When the opportunity arises however, you’ll keep on drinking.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

Plenty of people drink. There is a definition of what is considered heavy drinking which would be one of the signs of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse comes with many downfalls, the main one being that you can develop an addiction known as alcoholism. Jama reported recently that alcohol use disorder is on the rise. There are 1 in 8 people that develop the disorder. 

Alcohol abuse can also cause many health issues. Alcohol starts changing many parts of your body from the very first sip. Having an occasional drink isn’t going to cause long term health issues. The effects of consistent drinking have a cumulative effect and can harm the body greatly.

Alcohol can actually change your behaviors, you lose your focus which inhibits your ability to make good decisions. Your body suffers extreme repercussions too. The worst case scenarios include:

  • Heart damage
  • Liver damage
  • Lung infections
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Bones can become thin
  • Complications with diabetes
  • Stomach problems
  • High blood pressure

An Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Seattle Can Help

At Northpoint Seattle, alcoholism and alcohol abuse are two of the issues we see most often. We have worked with many people who were battling this problem, and we are fully equipped to help.

Our outpatient program is designed to provide people with the support they need. If an individual is addicted to alcohol, the first course of action should always be to go through the detoxification process. This is not a service we offer, but we do provide referrals for programs that offer medical detox. Once our clients finish detoxing, they return to our facility for the remainder of their recovery program.

We specialize in providing alcohol rehabilitation services. Therapy is a critical component for anyone with a drinking problem for a number of reasons. It is not enough for them to just make the decision to stop drinking, and for many, it takes more than just willpower. It is important to address the issues that led to the alcohol abuse for the person to have the best chance of recovering. For many, this means getting treated for a co-occurring disorder. We offer that treatment as well as group and family sessions to help provide the necessary support.

Northpoint Seattle has facilities that are located in both Seattle and Bellevue. We offer different levels of care, including intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient rehab and partial hospitalization.

Do you have questions about the signs of alcohol abuse or its impact in Washington State? We can give you information about that as well as talk with you about your options for treatment. Please contact us today at [Direct].