Your husband must have had another tough day at work. He came home and went straight for the alcohol before he even greeted you. You thought things might get better after his last big project wrapped up, but it seems like the stress and anxiety are still mounting.
His drinking wasn’t always like this. You two used to drink together occasionally to celebrate the good times. Those are fewer and farther between lately, and you’re starting to wonder if your loved one might have a problem. But to get to that answer, you need to know how much is actually too much.
Does My Loved One Drink Too Much?
How much is too much? Binge drinking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), involves consuming five or more drinks in one sitting for men and four or more for women. Heavy drinking is used to describe men who have 15 or more drinks a week or eight or more for women in that same time frame.
These numbers can provide some general guidelines, but there is no magic number of drinks that signals a person has become an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a spectrum. There are a variety of environmental, social and genetic factors that can influence the condition.
Typical Symptoms from Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Does it take more and more alcohol to relieve that stress and anxiety your loved one is feeling? Can he stick to his own predetermined limits for consumption? Do you feel like he’s hiding how much he’s actually drinking? Is alcohol involved in most of his social activities?
Answering yes to questions like these may indicate that your loved one is drinking too much. Other signs may include:
- Regularly experiencing hangovers
- Weight gain that can’t be explained from anything else
- Concern from a neutral party like a doctor, friends or relatives
- Getting sick more often
- Engaging in risky behaviors
- Neglecting relationships and responsibilities
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feelings of depression
- Drinking every day
How Drinking Too Much Affects the Body and Mind
While alcohol may temporarily relieve stress and anxiety, it can’t hold them at bay forever. And when the alcohol wears off, those negative emotions come back stronger than ever. What’s worse, the body and mind become incapable of coping with those experiences in natural, healthy ways, relying on alcohol to fix the problem.
This can lead to a cycle of increased use, which may cause physical changes to the brain. These changes can:
- Affect how your loved one responds to social cues and inhibitions
- Cause difficulty remembering things or induce blackout episodes
- Impact your loved one’s ability to speak and communicate clearly
The brain isn’t the only part of the body damaged by heavy alcohol use. Drinking too much can also lead to:
- Cancer of the throat, mouth and esophagus
- Damage to the heart, liver and pancreas
- Lung infections due to a weakened immune system
- Diarrhea, stomach pain and ulcers
- Infertility and erectile dysfunction
- Increased risk of bone disease
- Muscle cramps
Compassionate Treatment for Alcoholism at Footprints Beachside Recovery
Your husband isn’t the only one being impacted by addiction. Alcohol’s secondhand effects can wreak havoc on your entire family. When you’re evaluating options for alcohol treatment programs, look for compassionate care that addresses every aspect of addiction.
If depression, anxiety, PTSD or other complicating factors are present, dual diagnosis treatment is vital and can help to reduce the risk of relapse. Family therapy is also a critical part of addiction treatment because it helps you and your family heal alongside your loved one.
These are all parts of the comprehensive approach we take at Footprints Beachside Recovery. Each client is evaluated as an individual so we can develop a treatment program that fits his unique needs. We understand it can be difficult overcoming the stigma of addiction because we have lived through it. But we’re here to tell you that It can be done!
Contact our knowledgeable staff today and get help for your loved one.