Mental Health: Know the signs of alcoholism

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 7:52 AM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Studies show that people are drinking more during the pandemic, which can create consequences for physical and mental health.

Dana Cronkhite with Brynn Marr Hospital says half of people diagnosed with a mental health disorder also have a substance abuse disorder.

“There’s a clear link between substance misuse being a risk factor for suicide," said Cronkhite.

Cronkhite says social drinkers are those who drink in low risk patterns and consume three or less drinks in one sitting. She says some signs to look out for to see if social drinking has turned into problem drinking or alcoholism include:

  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Decrease in work or academic performance
  • Reckless behavior
  • Drinking everyday

Cronkhite says isolation is a significant risk factor and the pandemic has made things more challenging.

Experts say you can maintain social connectedness by intervening and talking to loved ones, creating awareness and motivation for recovery, along with an action plan.

If you have a loved one working towards recovery, Cronkhite suggests reaching out often and expressing support.

There are additional resources available online at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or Brynn Marr Hospital. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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