How to Identify a Drinking Problem: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

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One of the greatest obstacles in recovering from alcoholism is denial. Many alcoholics do not realize that they have a problem. The steps in dealing with alcoholism include assessing the problem, following a treatment program and making necessary lifestyle changes to avoid triggers. 

How to Identify a Drinking ProblemHazardous Drinking

People who drink every day as well as people who only binge drink once a week are at risk of developing numerous health and social problems. The U.S. Government set the ceiling for low-risk alcohol consumption at two drinks per day for men and one per day for women. Binge drinking is also considered at-risk alcohol use. Men should not have more than four drinks per occasion and women not more than three. The weekly amount of standard-sized drinks should not exceed 14 for men and seven for women. You are considered to be a heavy drinker if you are male and consume five to six drinks a day and if you are female, three to four drinks per day.

If you or your family thinks that you may be consuming hazardous amounts of alcohol, the first step in recovery is a brief intervention or counseling session to identify the problem and to discuss alcoholism treatment options. Such counseling is available from a number of Ambrosia Treatment Centers across the country.

Symptoms of Alcoholism

People who have alcoholism are often unable to limit the amount of alcohol they consume. They have a strong urge to drink, and they develop a tolerance against the effects of alcohol, so they need to consume more to feel the same effects. Alcoholics tend to hide their drinking habits from others and often drink alone, while keeping alcohol in unlikely places. They often feel nauseous and start shaking and sweating when they don’t drink. Alcoholics will sometimes experience “black-outs” when they just forget commitments or conversations. They have a need to drink to feel good or “normal.” Alcoholics typically experience problems in their relationships, finances and employment. They lose interest in their hobbies and other activities. If you or a family member has any of the above mentioned symptoms, you can get help from¬†Ambrosia Treatment Centers. The good news is that, following treatment, the likelihood of recovery is good for alcoholics that are otherwise healthy. Figures show that 50 to 60 percent will remain abstinent after a year in treatment, and most will remain sober permanently.

Treatment Options

Heavy drinkers need to follow a fully comprehensive program in order to reach sobriety. As alcoholics with a long-term dependence can experience severe withdrawal symptoms, detoxification should be done under professional and medical supervision. The treatment program should also offer a diagnosis, a plan for physical and emotional recovery and a plan to prevent relapse.


Motivation is key when dealing with alcoholism, which is why effective treatment centers aim to get heavy drinkers to make important lifestyle changes in order to stay sober. After inpatient treatment the alcoholic needs to establish a new life at home. Drinking triggers should be avoided. Ongoing support is essential for the alcoholic, who will need to make new, non-drinking friends. New activities and hobbies are encouraged, as well as a healthy diet and fitness program. Many treatment programs will also teach the alcoholic to deal with stress, using relaxation techniques.

Recovering from alcoholism is hard work and will require lifelong commitment, but it is worth the fight. In the end sobriety is good for your health, your relationships, your finances and overall happiness. There is life after alcohol.

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