Am I An Alcoholic? Test for Diagnosis

Learn about alcoholism and how to know if you are struggling with alcohol abuse through this article. 

Table of Contents

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

To determine whether you are an alcoholic, there are several factors and symptoms to consider. Typically, being unable to stop the consumption of alcohol is a clear sign of alcoholism. However, alcohol addiction signs may not always be obvious, so looking out for the symptoms is crucial to determine if you or someone close to you is struggling with alcoholism.

The signs of alcohol use disorder can vary from person to person, but several factors can help one pinpoint whether they are dealing with this disorder. Alcohol use disorder is often identified by seeing if a person has moderate to severe issues with binge drinking or alcohol abuse.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking involves the excessive consumption of alcohol within a short period. For women, this limit averages to four drinks within two hours. For men, this limit averages to five drinks within two hours.

Alcoholism addiction signs include binge drinking that interferes with a person’s well-being and lifestyle. If a person who partakes in binge drinking is unable to quit drinking alcohol, that is a clear sign of alcohol addiction.  

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is not defined by the volume of alcohol consumed but rather by the inability to control alcohol consumption. People engaging in alcohol abuse may have an increased tolerance to alcohol and may be unable to quit drinking despite the negative consequences.

Alcohol addiction signs include alcohol abuse drinking that interferes with a person’s well-being and lifestyle. If a person is unable to quit abusing the substance, that is a clear sign of addiction. 

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Short-Term Symptoms

Short-term acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms arise when someone addicted to alcohol stops consuming it. The symptoms can include but are not limited to the following issues:

  • Headaches: When a person with a drinking problem ceases consumption, headaches may be a symptom the person experiences during recovery.
  • Nausea: Nausea is another common symptom of alcohol withdrawal after alcohol consumption is halted. Intense nausea can often lead to vomiting during the alcohol withdrawal process.
  • Insomnia: A person suffering from a drinking problem may have difficulty sleeping and struggle with insomnia once they stop consuming alcohol.
  • Sweating: Excessive sweating is another short-term alcohol withdrawal symptom that is common at the beginning of the recovery period.
  • Confusion: During the alcohol withdrawal process, confusion is a common short-term withdrawal symptom in people recovering from a drinking problem. 

Long-Term Symptoms

Long-term symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include:2  

Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens (DTs) usually start three to five days after drinking has been stopped and are considered the most severe  form of withdrawal after EtOH abuse. DTs can involve bodily shaking, paranoia, hallucinations, confusion, and in severe cases, can result in death.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can occur up to three to four weeks after drinking has been stopped.3

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances are a common symptom of long-term alcohol withdrawal. Typically, hormones become regulated around twelve weeks into the recovery process.

Kidney Disease

Long-term drinking problems can lead to acute kidney failure, but kidneys can be healed after alcohol consumption has been ceased. The kidneys can heal over time from kidney disease if alcohol use is completely discontinued.

Stomach Ulcers

Long-term alcohol dependence can cause painful stomach ulcers during the withdrawal process. These ulcers can heal over time if alcohol use is completely discontinued.

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis is when scarring (fibrosis) takes place in the liver due to damage caused by EtOH abuse and alcoholism. Generally, liver cirrhosis is irreversible, but discontinuing alcohol consumption can significantly decrease the risk of death from liver cirrhosis caused by alcohol use disorder.

Compromised Immune System

A compromised immune system can take from a few days to up to a month to become fully functional again after recovering from alcohol use disorder. 

The Dangers of Alcohol Poisoning

Knowing the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning is vital. Failure to recognize alcohol overdose signs can result in permanent brain damage or death.

Alcohol poisoning can be identified by:

  • Mental confusion
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Losing consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Clammy skin
  • Slow heart rate
  • Low body temperature
  • Delayed responses 

Alcohol Withdrawal Signs

Alcohol withdrawal can be identified by both physical and psychological signs. These alcohol addiction signs typically occur within the first three days of stopping the consumption of alcohol and can appear as soon as six hours after the last drink was consumed.

Physical

The physical signs of alcohol withdrawal can include:

  • Shaky hands
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Delirium tremens
  • Fever
  • Kidney disease
  • Alcoholic fatty liver
  • High blood pressure

Psychological

The psychological signs of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Alcohol dementia
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares 

Getting Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

There is hope for people recovering from alcohol addiction signs seeking treatment. Here are some options for recovery from alcoholism: 

Counseling

Counseling is an excellent way to dive deep and find methods to avoid alcoholism problems in the future. Many people in recovery may seek long-term counseling to reduce the risk of relapse. 

Treating Underlying Problems

Treating any underlying problems, such as mental illness or unstable home life, that can contribute to the alcohol use disorder can help a recovering person avoid relapsing in the future. 

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a program for people recovering from alcoholism. AA uses the 12-Step program and a sponsorship system to help people find long-term recovery solutions. 

Detox

Alcohol detoxification, or detox, is a necessary part of the recovery process. During this alcohol detoxification period, the person will stop consuming alcohol and deal with the withdrawal symptoms as the alcohol leaves their system. 

Medication

Some medications, such as Campral (acamprosate) and Trexan (Naltrexone), can help treat alcohol addiction and relieve uncomfortable alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Therapies

People recovering from alcohol addiction can partake in a wide variety of different therapies available to help minimize the risk of relapse. Psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectal behavioral therapy are excellent options for people after the alcohol detoxification process has been completed. 

Resources

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Gina Bowman

Executive Assistant

Gina Bowman is the Executive Assistant at Brooks Healing Center. She was born in Florida but resides in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband, Tyler Bowman, and two daughters Charlotte and Isabella.

Gina is a friendly, loyal, and dedicated individual. She has a heart for helping others and understands the effects of addiction and the toll it can take on families. She is the one that helps make things happen behind the scenes and brings fun ideas to Brooks Healing Center as well as keeping things organized. 

Colleen Bradford, MBA, BA-MHR

Executive Director, Human Resources Director

Colleen Believes servitude towards others provides a solid foundation for personal and professional growth. She is a calm problem solver who juggles multiple situations simultaneously and works confidently and efficiently in even the most challenging, fast-paced environments. She is highly regarded for her consistent ability to apply sound judgment, emotional intelligence, and etiquette to sensitive, confidential, and unpredictable situations. She is an organized, professional, resourceful, and seasoned healthcare professional with diverse skills for boosting organizational productivity and quality of care initiatives.

Colleen has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration with a minor in health care administration from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has been married for 32 years to Doyle Bradford, and they have two sons, Thomas and Allen Bradford, along with two grandchildren, Ben and Faith Bradford. She is excited to have this unique opportunity to serve her community. She is a phenomenal cookie baker and mother figure to those at the Brooks Healing Center. We are honored to have her be a part of our vision. 

Frank Throneberry

Co-Founder and COO

Frank is a lifelong 7th generation native of Middle Tennessee. Frank cares for his local community and keeping Tennessee healthy, knowing that people all over the USA seek out his home state’s friendly and outdoor atmosphere. He is a hardworking and energetic person that is no stranger to going out of his way to help others.

Frank started his recovery from alcohol and substance abuse over seven years ago. He is continually working on a recovery program and became passionate about sharing his story, helping others, and supporting others to find freedom from their addiction. He also formerly owned and managed ‘recovery community’ homes where he walked with and encouraged many individuals in their journey. Frank’s servant attitude is what helps him listen, understand, and put others’ needs first.

Outside of his career, Frank cherishes his time with his wife, Maribeth, and his three children: Jackson, Piper, and Charlie. They enjoy the great outdoors on their family farm in Shelbyville, TN, and boating and fishing with family on Tim’s Ford Lake. He is a dedicated husband and father. 

James “Tyler” Bowman

Founder and CEO

Tyler is the heart of the Brooks Healing Center. His vision is to guide others to find their own recovery and to thrive in life. Tyler was fortunate to have lived through his addiction and now finds fulfillment in serving others. Tyler has worked in the substance abuse field for over five years and felt convicted to build a place where individuals are loved until they can learn to love themselves.  

Tyler has the love and support of his family as he continues to provide care to those who have lost themselves along the way. Tyler is the father of two daughters, Charlotte, his oldest, and Isabella, his youngest. Tyler’s wife, Gina, supports the Brooks Healing Center’s vision, and she shares his passion for helping others as well.  

Tyler has a story to tell and is willing to share his experiences, good or bad, with anyone. Brooks Healing Center is the way he gives back for all he took when he was using. For the past seven years, Tyler has gone beyond to share his recovery and is thriving in life.