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6 Alcoholism Red Flags I Ignored

Alcohol Abuse in California - Resurgence - A man pours another glass of hard liquor as he considers attending treatment for alcohol abuse in California.

Studies show that, in the United States, nearly 15 million people are coping with alcohol abuse, and that one in six adults binge drink four times a month.

Furthermore, research indicates that less than 11% of those struggling with addiction get the help they need.

And that should not be surprising.

It can be easy to miss the signs of alcohol addiction.

However, recognizing these red flags can help you understand if someone you love might be struggling with addiction, helping you provide the intervention and resources necessarily to protect their health, and potentially save their life.

Keep in mind that, no one red flag can necessarily “prove” someone is struggling with alcoholism.

However, multiple red flags, especially in a friend or loved one who is known to drink heavily, can be an indicator that help is needed.

Below are 6 red flags that can help you identify potential alcohol abuse in someone you love.

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What are 6 Alcoholism Red Flags I Ignored

Mental Health Issues / Mood Swings

The relationship between mental health and alcoholism is complex, with numerous studies confirming the link between alcoholism and depression.

And while mental health issues often cause alcohol addiction, they are also worsened by alcohol use.

Therefore, many men and women who are slipping into addiction will experience an intensification of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mental health challenges.

This worsening of mental health crisis, and use of alcohol to dull the pain, is part of the cycle of addiction, as well as a noticeable red flag.

If you sense a worsening in mood swings, anger, depression, and other behavioral issues in your loved one, you may be seeing the grip of addiction in their life.

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Missed Work

As alcoholism sets in, it becomes harder for an addict to maintain their personal and professional commitments.

Studies show that individuals with substance use issues miss 50% more work days than their peers, and you may notice signs of tardiness, inability to concentrate, disinterest in work, or other performance issues.

While anyone can have an “off” week, if you notice these issues emerging, this could be a sign of alcoholism.


While heredity alone is not a red flag, it can be an important predictor of alcoholism, and may shed light on other behaviors you are seeing.

Studies have found that 40 – 65% of alcoholism is genetic, meaning that some individuals will find themselves addicted with only moderate exposure to alcohol.

This increased likelihood of addiction can result in higher “highs” while consuming alcohol, and lower “lows” as addicts try to quit. As a result, these people experience extreme biological responses to drinking, and may find it almost impossible to quit after only a few experiences with alcohol.

If your loved one has a family history of alcoholism, even if they do not themselves appear to be out of control, you may wish to pay closer attention to any other red flags you witness.

Memory Issues

Does your loved one have trouble remembering a night out, or seem hazy on recent events?

While some people assume that “blacking out” from drinking means that someone has become unconscious, a true blackout involves memory loss due to alcohol abuse.

However, depending on their level of tolerance, individuals who are blacked out may appear “normal” and may hold conversations, attempt to drive cars, and engage in other activities without any memory of their actions.

If someone you know to drink frequently also demonstrates memory issues, it may be a sign of alcohol addiction.

Binge Drinking

When many people think of battling alcoholism, they think of someone who drinks every day. For that reason, binge drinkers are often overlooked as struggling with alcohol use.

According to the CDC, binge drinking takes place when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks in a 2 hours period.

One in six US adults binge drinks about four times a month, consuming an average of seven drinks per binge.

And while not all binge drinkers are alcoholics, those coping with alcoholism may participate in binge drinking.

Furthermore, binge drinking can be a behavior that leads to alcoholism, even in those who have not yet developed that illness. With that in mind, it is a potential red flag of an alcohol addiction.

Inability to Stop Drinking

Do you know someone who always says that they will quit drinking, or who has resolved to get sober, only to relapse? Do they become defensive when asked about their efforts to quit?

One of the most obvious, yet commonly overlooked, signs of alcoholism is the inability to quit drinking. However, because so many people believe that quitting “cold turkey” is possible with willpower, individuals who seem unable to stop, are often mistaken for not wanting to stop.

If someone in your life seems unable to reduce their alcohol consumption, they are likely coping with addiction.

However, there is always hope. And the team and Resurgence Behavioral Health can help your loved one build the coping skills and resilience to break the cycle of addiction, and find lasting health.

Call Resurgence today at 855-458-0050 and help your loved one begin the journey to freedom.

Effects of Alcoholism Red Flags

Alcoholism is a serious addiction, with devasting impacts on the body and mind.

The consequences of alcoholism can include:

  • Inflammation
  • Blackouts
  • High blood sugar
  • Insomnia
  • Heart disease
  • Anxiety
  • Cirrhosis
  • Stroke
  • Infertility
  • Thinning bones
  • Sexual disfunction
  • Digestive issues
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Head and neck cancer

But even though most people who struggle with addiction know it is dangerous, alcoholics are unable to quit alone.

Moreover, a recent study of alcoholism indicated that 40% of those seeking treatment trough Alcoholics Anonymous without the assistance of a professional treatment center drop out in the first year.

For this reason, the ability of loved ones to recognize the red flags of addiction can save lives.

This addiction is not a lack of willpower – it is the result of medical causes that take root in the body and mind, altering the individual’s ability to function without alcohol.

But with professional treatment, such as the help offered at Resurgence Behavioral Health, freedom from addiction can be achieved.

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Mental Illness and 6 Alcoholism Red Flags I Ignored

When mental health issues are combined with easy, affordable drugs, like alcohol, the relationship between mental health crisis and addiction form a cycle that can feel inescapable.

Excessive alcohol consumption results in isolation, anxiety, mood changes, depression, hopelessness, and worsening of established mental health issues, such as PTSD, ADHD, and bipolar disorder.

Unfortunately, because of the serious biochemical effects of alcoholism, some of these mental health consequences have even resulted in suicide on the part of those struggling for peace.

However, the body and mind are both resilient and able to heal.

With professional treatment that recognizes the mental health components of addiction, as well as medical detoxification, recovering alcoholics can experience health and hope again.

Treatment and 6 Alcoholism Red Flags

Recognizing the red flags of alcoholism can help your loved one get the compassionate treatment they need and deserve.

And treatment for alcoholism is best undertaken with professional help.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are serious, and can include seizures, nerve damage, heart attack, hallucinations, coma, and death.

Even for those who do not experience the most extreme symptoms, anxiety, insomnia, muscle tremors, aches, vomiting, and loss of behavioral control are common.

But in a treatment program, these symptoms can be managed with minimal pain, allowing your loved one to recover more quickly.

The first step in a treatment program should be supervised medical detoxification, which may include medications to help ease the burden of withdrawal symptoms.

Once detox is complete, those in recovery will be offered a variety of empowering program options, designed to encourage growth and self-awareness. These programs may include:

  • Family counseling
  • Group therapy
  • One to one counseling
  • Yoga
  • Spiritual services
  • Exercise programs
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Nutrition therapy
  • 12-step programs
  • And More

Everyone struggling with alcoholism will recover at their own pace. and though it may seem overwhelming, it is possible to achieve sobriety.

And Resurgence Behavioral Health can help you, or your loved one, get there.

Payment Options

We know that this is a time that you need for focus on recovery, not on copays, premiums, or insurance policies.

The team at Resurgence will communicate with your insurance provider on your behalf, to take some of the stress out of recovery, and we accept most PPO insurance and private forms of payment. You can even pay for your admission online.

Just call the Resurgence team at 855-458-0050 and let your recovery begin.

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How to Get Help

Help for your loved one is closer than you think.

Recovery is one of the most fulfilling decisions anyone can make, and Resurgence Behavioral Health understands the journey out of addiction.

In our safe and relaxing treatment spaces, those seeking recovery will find self-empowerment, as well as the tools and techniques to live a satisfying life, free of addiction.

Now is the time to discover new possibilities, and we are waiting to hear from you.

Call Resurgence Behavioral Health today.

The future awaits

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At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.