Alcohol abuse in men can show up differently than that in women. Understanding men’s alcohol addiction signs can let you know if it is time to have a conversation with your loved one. If you think a man in your life needs help from a men’s alcohol addiction treatment program, reach out to Red Oak Recovery® at 866.457.7590. Our gender-specific alcohol treatment programs provide customized care for men overcoming addiction.
5 Signs of Alcoholism in Men
What is alcoholism in men? One of the significant determinants of alcohol addiction is the number of drinks consumed daily or within one week. For men, having four or more drinks daily or 14 or more per week is considered an alcohol addiction. If this rate of consumption occurs on an occasional basis, there may be no need for concern. But if heavy drinking happens regularly, it is a prominent sign of alcohol abuse in men. If you can relate to this or if it sounds like someone in your life, look at the following signs of alcoholism in men.
1. Drinking Alone
When you go out to a bar or restaurant, you may notice men sitting alone at the bar drinking. This is one of the common signs of alcoholism in men. Of course, the gentleman you see could just be waiting for his date or friends to arrive. But, often, a man sitting at the bar alone struggles with alcohol addiction, and being in the company of others who are drinking may help him minimize the problem in his mind. It is easier to deny a problem if it is considered social drinking. However, if you often drink alone or know someone who does, it may be time to consider that addiction treatment may be needed.
2. Developing a Tolerance to Alcohol
Over time, regular alcohol consumption will lead to tolerance. A man who used to drink a beer with dinner may start having two or three. When his tolerance builds, he needs more alcohol to get the same buzz. This may also lead him to switch from beer to a stronger substance like hard liquor. Early on, tolerance may not necessarily indicate addiction, but it will continue to grow, and the person will feel the need for higher and higher doses of alcohol. This can undoubtedly lead down the path to alcohol addiction.
3. Needing Alcohol to Get Through the Day
A man struggling with alcohol addiction may not be able to go a day without drinking. He might drink each day after work and start early on the weekends. In extreme cases, he might also need to start the day with a drink to prevent shakiness or feeling ill. These feelings are the onset of alcohol withdrawal, which can result in symptoms such as:
- Anxiety or depression
- Mood swings
- Sleep problems
This can become particularly dangerous, resulting in driving to work under the influence and endangering oneself and others on the road. It can also put one’s job at risk if the employer detects alcohol consumption at work or if work performance declines.
4. Loss of Interest in Activities Once Enjoyed
One of the most common of the men’s alcohol addiction signs is a lack of motivation to do anything that does not involve alcohol. A man who used to enjoy an active lifestyle may give up hiking and going to the gym to spend his days going to the bar or drinking at home. If you notice your loved one no longer wants to spend time together unless you drink with them, they may need addiction treatment.
5. Mood Swings when Not Drinking
Alcohol addiction affects brain neurotransmitters responsible for positive feelings. The brain loses its capacity to produce feel-good hormones and requires more alcohol for the person to experience pleasurable feelings. When a man struggling with addiction cannot consume alcohol, he may become very cranky and irritable.
Begin Recovery at Red Oak Recovery®
At Red Oak Recovery®, we understand that it can be tough to broach the subject of alcohol abuse in men, but we are here to guide you through it. If you think a man you care about is struggling with alcohol addiction, call us at 866.457.7590 for support.