Whether it’s a social gathering, a means to relieve stress, or a habit to have a glass before going to bed- alcohol is a part of many people’s lives in a way where they really don’t think twice about it. This is why so many people are often unaware of the effects of alcohol, and when to even consider that they may have crossed a line in terms of mental and physical well-being. The simplest way to describe the effects of alcohol is that it is a depressant, which means it slows down the brain while releasing dopamine, which creates a feeling of satisfaction. The combination of the two can sometimes turn it from satisfying to quite addictive. It can be extremely hard to determine when a person needs help and has driven themselves into alcoholism. This is why we’ve created this simple guide to help you pick up on the signs that mean it’s time to get treatment.

Need and Tolerance Increases

One of the first signs that you or someone close to you is veering towards addiction to alcohol is that the need increases, and so does the tolerance. Naturally, if you increase the dosage of anything, your body’s tolerance picks up, and so you need more and more to reach the state that you need to be at with the alcohol. In terms of need, it no longer becomes a social drink or just a glass of wine before bed- it slowly but increasingly becomes a need in order to feel content or even numb. As a result, it takes priority over everything else. The main focus of the day becomes when the next drink will be and how to get it into your system as soon as possible. 

Emotional Extremes and Instability

The next sign that is a sure red flag are signs of instability. Mood swings, overreacting, and general behavior that is unlike you or the person in question are not to be ignored. Binge drinking results in hangovers, which affect the mood in a great way. If someone is starting to cross the line and is falling into addiction, there will barely be any time for them to recover, and this will greatly affect their mood, decisions, and behavior. If you find that you or a loved one are displaying unstable and fluctuating emotions, it would be a good idea to get in touch with professionals initially to understand and know what to do next. Information provided at this site helps us understand how rehab centers can guide us through the recovery process and what needs to be done to stop drinking. Depending on where you live, try to find a rehab clinic that has good reviews and has certified professionals, because it can be daunting and confusing to pinpoint and deal with these changes in emotions and behavior with alcoholism.

Increased Detachment and Isolation

If you or someone you know is beginning to go down the road of addiction, a clear indicator of this will be an increase in isolation and detachment from others. It will certainly start to take a toll on relationships. While it might not be so apparent to people that they are not particularly close to, those closest to the person in question will soon begin to realize that something just isn’t right. They’ll stop attending gatherings and social events. And if they do attend, they’ll head right for the drinks, barely eat a bite, and will keep socializing to a minimum. This is a tricky sign to pick up, but paired with all the other signs, it really does add up.

Relationships and Work Become Affected Negatively

Along with relationships becoming strained due to the effects of alcoholism on the body, inevitably, their performance, in general, will change drastically. People who find themselves drowning deeper and deeper into addiction will start going in late to work, lose focus, underperform, and will start missing days altogether, with no sense of remorse or control over the matter. 

It’s difficult to draw the line between social and ‘healthy’ drinking and crossing that line. Keeping the factors mentioned here in mind, if you’re worried about someone you care about, or even doubt yourself and feel like you might be losing control over your cravings, then it’s time to get help immediately. There is absolutely no shame in reaching out and admitting that you have a problem. We all have problems- they just have different faces. What’s important is that you get yourself in time before your whole life falls apart. It’s never too late to start over.