Chronic alcohol misuse has a negative effect on every system of the body. Something people might notice with ongoing, severe alcohol misuse is bruising from alcohol. So, why do alcoholism and bruising sometimes go hand-in-hand? Learn the answer, as well as how to get help with medication assisted treatment for alcohol use, below.
What Is Alcoholism?
When people use the term “alcoholism,” what they are really referring to is an alcohol use disorder, which is the clinical term for an addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism is a colloquial term, and it really isn’t a politically correct way to refer to an alcohol addiction.
An alcohol use disorder is a legitimate medical condition that causes lasting changes in the brain. Once a person develops an alcohol use disorder, they will continue to drink, even in the face of serious consequences, such as health problems caused by alcohol. Brain changes from repeated alcohol misuse lead to compulsive drinking and make it difficult to stop without treatment.
What Are The Common Signs Of Alcohol Use Disorder?
When someone develops an alcohol use disorder, they will show signs or symptoms that are characteristic of this condition. Some of these signs are described below.
Continued Use Despite Consequences
One of the diagnostic criteria that points toward an alcohol use disorder is continuing to drink, even in the face of consequences. These consequences can include relationship problems, difficulty fulfilling duties at work or home, or a worsening of health problems. If a person continues to drink despite health-related problems, bruises after drinking may be a consequence that arises from alcohol misuse.
Large Quantities Of Alcohol Consumption
Other signs of an alcohol use disorder include spending a significant amount of time drinking, or consuming larger quantities of alcohol than intended. A person may also develop a tolerance for alcohol, meaning that they need larger and larger amounts to obtain the desired effects.
What all of this means is that people who live with an alcohol use disorder are likely to consume large quantities of alcohol. While some people may have just a drink or two on special occasions, people with an alcohol use disorder may lose control of their drinking, and consume ten or more drinks, for example. They may have such a high tolerance that they do not show any overt signs of intoxication, despite drinking large amounts.
Placing Themselves In Danger
When drinking becomes compulsive, as is the case with alcohol use disorder, a person may place themselves in danger when consuming alcohol, because drinking becomes more important than safety. Examples of drinking in dangerous situations include driving while under the influence or drinking before operating some form of heavy machinery.
Another sign of an alcohol use disorder is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as shakiness, sweating, sleep disturbances, nausea, racing heart, or even seizures, when not drinking. Similarly, a person may have alcohol cravings associated with these withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal side effects can be incredibly uncomfortable, which can lead a person to resume drinking to alleviate these side effects. Because of this fact, a person with an alcohol use disorder may have several failed attempts to stop drinking.
Focusing All Attention On Drinking
Finally, a person with an alcohol use disorder will likely give up other activities, because their focus is on drinking. They may stop participating in hobbies, or withdraw from friends and family members, because their desire to drink is stronger than their need for social interaction or other forms of recreation.