Who suffers from alcohol addiction?
While anyone can be affected by alcohol addiction, there are certain risk factors that correlate to an increased likelihood of addiction. These include:
- Genetics – People with a family member who has been an alcohol addict are more likely to become addicted themselves. Studies have shown that genetics represent about half of the total risk for alcohol addiction.
- Early consumption – People who start drinking alcohol before the age of 15 have a significantly higher likelihood of developing a dependence on alcohol as they age.
- Frequency of consumption – Frequent drinking and binge drinking increase the chances of addiction as well.
- Gender – Men are nearly twice as likely to develop an addiction to alcohol as women.
- Mental health disorders – Co-existing mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or depression can lead to an addiction to alcohol.
Though these factors give us indicators for potential problems, virtually anyone can develop an alcohol addiction. Startlingly, approximately 14.5 million people in the U.S. aged 12 or older have an alcohol addiction. It is easy to see that alcohol addiction presents a significant problem and that we need to be educated and aware about its dangers. We encourage you to get help today before any problems grow worse and require a more lengthy recovery process.
What are the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction?
Every individual case of addiction will present differently, but there are many common effects that we can observe in alcohol addiction. Some of the physical signs we see include:
- Significant weight variations
- Increased injuries from falls or hazardous behavior
- Diminished personal hygiene habits
- Regular intoxication and effects (decreased coordination, slurred speech patterns, etc.)
- Increased focus on the “next drink”
In addition to these personal manifestations, alcohol also produces disruptive psychological effects as well. These consequences include:
- Heightened triggers for irritation and anger
- Mood fluctuations
- Increased signs of anxiety
- Hallucinations, especially during withdrawal
- Decreased reliability and trustworthiness
Certainly not comprehensive, these brief lists can help identify someone struggling through an alcohol addiction. Clearly, these signs affect not only the addict, but anyone in a close orbit of the addict. That includes family, friends, coworkers, etc. At Bridgepoint, our goal is to restore not only the individual, but also the damaged relationships that result from alcohol addiction.