Those who are inclined to hide their substance abuse problems may make it difficult to recognize them. In fact, it is a common myth that alcoholism is “easy” to identify. To successfully undergo addiction treatment, you must recognize the signs as soon as possible. Discover how you can help those you know who are suffering from alcohol addiction. The best way to ensure people get the proper help when they need it, is to recognize the signs of alcoholism. Only after a person recognizes their alcohol use disorder, may he or she seek appropriate alcohol treatment and begin to recover.

Recognizing Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse Signs

About 75 percent of the alcohol that Americans drink occurs in the form of binge drinking. The symptoms of binge drinking include blackouts and memory lapses. Over time, a chronic binge drinker can develop serious liver damage and/or brain damage. The effects on the brain are significant. You should be on the lookout for subtle signs of alcohol addiction. Watch out for unusual drinking behaviors, such as having an unusually high tolerance or concealing alcohol.

How to Spot Alcohol Abuse Signs

You may notice many signs of someone suffering from alcoholism. There are a number of behaviors and activities which may contribute to alcohol abuse. Recognizing these behaviors is key to identifying an alcohol use disorder and to getting the person the help he or she needs. Here are some common warning signs of alcohol abuse disorder:

  • It is more common that the person drinks more or drinks longer than he or she intends to
  • Despite attempts to stop drinking, the person has not been able to do so
  • In addition, the individual drinks a lot of time every day, this may be for a long period of time each day or on multiple days every week
  • There may be feelings of needing to drink rather than desire to drink that may lead to the urge to drink
  • When a person drinks or is affected by the effects of alcohol (such as being “hungover”), it has an effect on their daily life, affecting their work, school, and family obligations.
  • The drinking habit continues despite a person’s family or friends expressing concern, or despite trouble in relationships as a result of the drinking
  • In order to achieve desired results, a person has to consume more and more alcohol (demonstrates tolerance)
  • If one does not drink, one may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, irritability, nausea, or tremors when not drinking.

Alcohol addiction is often downplayed or lied about by those afflicted with it, giving the impression that all is well.  

When a person who regularly abuses alcohol stops drinking or significantly reduces the amount of intake, withdrawal symptoms will emerge. Alcohol has many effects on the body. Such symptoms can begin as soon as two hours after the last drink and continue for weeks. Ceasing to drink alcohol cold turkey can be especially dangerous since withdrawal symptoms can cause delirium tremens, convulsions, delirium, and even death. However, experts in alcohol addiction treatment know how to avoid these risks, ensuring your safety during detox and recovery. 

signs of alcohol abuse disorder

Alcoholism Factors

What is alcoholism? An addiction to alcohol or alcohol abuse disorder is characterized by some common factors which include the following:

  • Loss of control: this includes engaging in substance abuse for longer than a person intended, more frequently than desired, or even when a person knows he or she should stop.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: many addicted individuals may fall behind in school, perform poorly at work, or neglect family obligations due to substance abuse
  • Poor behavior: addiction may cause a person to take part in activities or to take risks that a person may not otherwise engage in.
  • The strain on personal relationships: as people become afflicted with substance abuse, many find their personal lives are affected. People close to addicted individuals may want to help stop abuse and addicted individuals may feel attacked or threatened.
  • Tolerance: prolonged substance abuse often fosters tolerance, which means a person no longer feels the effects of the substance (in this case, alcohol). This usually causes the person to drink higher amounts more frequently.
  • Withdrawal: people suffering from addiction may experience withdrawal symptoms if they are trying to quit or have not used substances for a period of time.

Alcoholism Factors

Is Your Loved One in Need of Help for Alcohol Abuse?

Do not be afraid to communicate with anyone who displays any of these red flags. There are ways you can help a loved one get treatment. You can ask the person how they are feeling or if they are struggling with alcohol when you are with them. Consider bringing them to a professional addiction treatment center if they’re ready to seek help.