Learn the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

How do we know that someone has an alcohol addiction? It’s not any one thing, action or behavior. Substance abuse counselors look at a combination of factors to determine if someone has an alcohol dependency or addiction. These factors usually form a pattern of behaviors, which include:

  • Consequences – The person experiences negative consequences from their use but continues to use anyway.
  • Progression – The consequences of use get more severe over the course of time but do not stop the person from using.
  • Loss of control – The person drinks or uses more than they intended. They are unable to quit their use despite numerous unsuccessful attempts to do so, or they are able only to interrupt use for a short period of time.

How to spot the warning signs of alcohol abuse

If you or someone you love is living with an alcohol addiction, you may see these signs and symptoms:

  • Withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, sweating, shakiness or feeling sick to the stomach
  • A lot of time spent drinking and recovering
  • Giving up other activities in favor of drinking
  • Drinking early, alone or in risky situations (such as driving)
  • Feeling guilty after drinking
  • Making excuses or altering behavior to hide drinking (such as buying alcohol from different stores)
  • Worrying about having enough alcohol
  • Binge drinking, even with days or weeks between binges

Be on the lookout, as recognizing alcoholism can be challenging

Recognizing a drinking problem is not always easy. Many people abuse alcohol without realizing their use has become a problem. Some don’t drink large amounts. Some alcoholics may go without a drink for days, even weeks. But even if someone doesn’t drink frequently or consume large quantities, it is possible for a person to still be abusing alcohol… and to have a high risk for becoming addicted.

At Rosecrance, we’re here to help people overcome their alcohol dependency or abuse and live hopeful, fulfilled and productive lives. We provide free, confidential consultations and offer a highly focused, individualized and evidence-based treatment program that’s right for you. For more information, or to take the first step toward recovery, call 888-928-5278.

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