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Don't wait until it's too late: Learn to recognize the signs of alcohol abuse

You're walking to your car when you see a homeless man on the street. He's holding out his hand and asking for money, and you notice that he has a few beer cans wrapped in a paper bag near him.

What do you do?

You could ignore it and keep walking, but then you'll always wonder what happened to that man.

You could give him some money, but then you'll wonder if you're just enabling his alcoholism.

Or you could stop and talk to him and try to help him get the help he needs.

If you chose the latter, salute! You're on your way to helping someone with a substance abuse problem.

Numerous people don't realize they have a problem with alcohol abuse until it's too late. By that time, they've already caused a lot of damage to their relationships, careers, and health. They may also have run into legal troubles because of their drinking.

The main challenge in overcoming alcohol abuse is recognizing that you have a problem in the first place. Denial is a common defense mechanism that prevents people from admitting they have a problem. But until you're able to admit that you have a problem, you can't get help.

What is alcohol abuse?

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a medical term for alcohol abuse. It's a pattern of drinking that results in problems with your health, your job, or your relationships.

According to National Center for Health Statistics, 25.1% of adults aged 18 and over had at least one excessive drinking day in the past year. Additionally, 29,505 deaths were caused by alcoholic liver disease, and 49,061 deaths were caused by alcohol-induced accidents or homicides.

The signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse

If you or somebody close to you might be abusing alcohol, look for these common signs and symptoms:

- Drinking more than you intended to or for longer than you intended

- Neglecting your responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drinking

- Drinking in dangerous situations, such as driving or operating machinery

- Experiencing legal problems because of your drinking, such as getting arrested for drunk driving

- Continuing to drink even though it's causing problems in your relationships

How to get help for alcohol abuse

Inpatient detox

Detoxification or detox is the first and essential step in overcoming addiction to any substance, including alcohol. Detox centers provide 24-hour care and supervision as patients undergo the sometimes difficult detox process.

Medication intervention

There are a few different types of drugs that can be used to help people who are dealing with alcohol dependence. These drugs are called "Antabuse drugs." They work by causing unpleasant side effects when someone takes them and drinks alcohol. Some of the most common Antabuse drugs include disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate.

These drugs can be effective in helping people stay sober, but they are not a cure for alcoholism. They can help people avoid drinking and stick to their treatment plan, but they will still need to be committed to recovery to stay sober in the long term.

Substance abuse counseling

There are different types of counseling for those who have a dependency on drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse counseling helps patients overcome their addiction and become self-sufficient.

Peer support

Alcoholics Anonymous is one well-known program that has helped millions of people recover from alcoholism. There are also many treatment programs available to help you detox from alcohol and get back on track.


If you or someone you know is combatting alcohol abuse, it's never too late to seek help. Learn about the cues and symptoms of alcohol abuse so that if a loved one needs your support, you'll be ready. There are different types of treatment available, so there's sure to be the right program for you. With commitment and support, recovery is possible. Call American Addiction Centers at 1-855-908-0087 or check out their website at

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