What Are the Signs of Alcohol Addiction?


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In susceptible individuals, alcoholism manifests as a behavioral disorder characterized by negative consequences due to alcohol use and a decreased ability to control drinking episodes, reports the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Alcoholism frequently results in social problems, such as poor job performance, unemployment, relationship problems and violence. Individuals who abuse alcohol are also more likely to suffer from psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety. Excessive drinking also causes medical problems such as hepatic cirrhosis.

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Many warning signs of alcoholism relate to the drinker's behavior, notes WebMD. Individuals who are at risk of alcoholism may drink in dangerous situations, such as before driving. They often continue to drink despite suffering legal consequences or deterioration of interpersonal relationships. An alcoholic also has difficulty quitting drinking or controlling the amount he drinks once he starts. Withdrawal symptoms, including shakes, sweats and nausea, may occur if the alcoholic attempts to stop drinking, notes Mayo Clinic.

Alcoholism causes other physical symptoms that can aid in diagnosis. Weight loss is a common side effect of alcohol dependence as well as irritation of the stomach lining, leading to chronic gastritis, claims eMedicineHealth. Chronic alcoholism can also cause redness of the nose and cheeks, known as rosacea. Heavy drinking increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box and esophagus, reports the American Cancer Society.

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