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When Social Drinking Stops Being Social | 5 Signs Your Friend Could Be Suffering From Alcoholism

A night out drinking with friends may not seem like a big deal. In fact, it's quite common -- with 87.6 percent of Americans over 18 saying they have consumed alcohol at some point. But sometimes social drinking stops being social and starts being a problem. Here are five signs your friend could be suffering from alcoholism.

1. Your Friend Consumes Increasing Amounts of Alcohol

One of the first warning signs of alcoholism is an increase in the amount of alcohol consumed. Therefore, if you notice that your friend is drinking more than normal, there could be a problem -- especially if the drinking results in reckless behavior (such as drinking and driving).

2. Your Friend Consumes Alcohol Too Often

In addition to drinking larger quantities of alcohol, drinking too often is another one of the early signs of alcoholism. This frequently occurs when alcoholics start finding excuses to drink regularly, such as using alcohol as a coping mechanism for anxiety, depression, boredom, loneliness, or stress.

Never ignore a friend who is using alcohol to cope with daily problems.

3. Your Friend Stops Fulfilling Responsibilities

Many people realize they have a drinking problem after neglecting their responsibilities for so long that their lives are drastically affected.

If your friend has lost a job due to heavy drinking, it's a strong warning sign that your friend is suffering from alcoholism. In such a case, alcohol has gone from being social to being destructive, and your friend likely needs to seek help for the problem.

4. Your Friend Suffers From Severe Alcohol Withdrawal

Headaches and nausea are hangover symptoms commonly experienced after a night of drinking. But sometimes more severe symptoms occur in those suffering from alcoholism. This is due to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Symptoms of severe alcohol withdrawal include the following:

  • shaky hands
  • insomnia
  • sweating
  • memory loss
  • confusion
  • anxiety

Supervised detox may be necessary to help a friend suffering from these severe withdrawal symptoms.

5. Your Friend Repeatedly Fails to Quit Drinking

If your friend has repeatedly said they were going to quit drinking but failed to do so, they may need professional assistance to quit.

Alcoholism is a severe disease, which can cause cirrhosis and death if left untreated. Because alcohol consumption is quite common, it's easy for alcoholism to go unnoticed for long periods of time. If your friend has been exhibiting the signs listed above, talk openly about your concerns and the importance of getting professional help when needed.

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