We have all seen them before. There is always that one guy who cannot look you in the eye, walk a straight line or speak without slurring his words. Someone is getting too drunk and crying or picking a fight with a complete stranger at the bar. Voices are getting louder and one night of drinking spills over into the week. Someone is calling into work “not feeling well” and someone else is cheating on his or her spouse. The effects of alcohol often exceed our wildest expectations and a fun night of having a beer with a friend can go horribly wrong in no time at all. While it may seem commonplace, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction so we will be capable of stopping the destructive pattern of behavior before addiction treatment is required.
What could be more fun than having difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slower reaction times and impaired memory? Today’s youth, despite all that is known about drug and alcohol use, still give in to the allure of alcoholic beverages. One American Medical Association (AMA) study reported that roughly 20% of 18 to 30-year-olds are binge drinkers. Among those who binge, 19% said they binge “frequently,” and 7% binge every time they drink alcohol.