Healthy Living

7 Telltale Signs of Alcoholism

Have you ever wondered if somebody you know has issues with alcohol? Do you suspect someone in your circle of friends may have a problem? If so, keep reading as we’ll show you the signs of alcoholism you should be looking out for!

One of the most common addictions people face is alcohol problem. However, if you catch it early, it’s possible to convince the alcoholic to seek the help they so desperately need.

Below, you’ll find the early signs of alcoholism you can use to tell if a loved one needs your help. Let’s get into it!


1. Changes in Behavior and Physical Appearance

Changes in behavior can be one of the most obvious signs of alcoholism. If someone suddenly begins to act differently than they usually do, like become quieter or more isolated, this may be an indication that they are dealing with alcoholism.

Oftentimes, they may begin to display inappropriate actions that are out of character for them. Also, they may be more likely to miss deadlines, sleep in, or become disinterested in activities they typically enjoy participating in.

Additionally, aggressiveness and other violent behaviors can also be linked to alcohol use. In addition to changes in behavior, changes in physical appearance can be another sign.

Someone who is an alcoholic may begin to look unkempt or experience physical deterioration. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to speak to the person about the issue and get them the help they need.

2. A Lack of Control Over Alcohol Consumption

This could mean that an individual has difficulty moderating how much they drink. They can no longer determine when they should stop drinking.

This might also imply continuously drinking more than intended or being unable to take just one shot. Furthermore, there can also be an increased tolerance for alcohol, meaning they need greater servings or more frequent drinking to receive the same effects.

However, people with drinking problems often continue to do so despite its negative effects. They may find themselves unable to curb this habit and often pursue it to reduce feelings of anxiety or depression.

3. Lying About Drinking or Other Alcohol-Related Activities

Alcoholics often lie or deny their drinking, which signals that the problem is deeper than it seems. To mask this problem, alcoholics will often tell lies about:

  • How much they are drinking
  • Attributes to the issue
  • The impact it has on them

They might also minimize their pattern of drinking and the consequences of their alcohol-related activities. If someone’s drinking habits are being covered up or avoided altogether, then it’s a key sign of alcoholism.

Ultimately, when they are confronted with questions about their drinking, they may become defensive or angry instead of engaging in an authentic conversation.

4. Developing a Tolerance of Alcohol

A person with alcoholism may begin to drink larger amounts more frequently. This means that they can no longer feel the effects after drinking the same amount they used to. They must drink more and more to maintain the same result.

They may experience less of an effect compared to how they felt upon their first few drinks. They begin to build a tolerance to it, meaning they will be able to drink more and more without experiencing any negative effects.

Alcoholism can also come to a point where the individual is unable to control their drinking and makes it a priority over all other commitments. This is not normal and is a cause for concern.

5. Blackouts, Disorientation, and Memory Loss

One of the most common physical signs of alcohol misuse is residual memory loss and disorientation. Blackouts are associated with heavy alcohol use and can last from a few minutes to a few hours.

During a blackout, an individual may find themselves unable to recall activities they had previously taken part in or speaking in ways they wouldn’t remember after. In severe cases, they can have difficulty understanding what is going on around them.

This can lead to confusion and loss of coordination, further increasing the risks associated with drinking. Moreover, dealing with  memory loss can be difficult and it often leads to a lack of motivation and an inability to keep up with daily tasks and hobbies.

6. Changes in Relationship Dynamics

Alcoholism can manifest in a variety of ways, but one common sign is the changes in relationship dynamics. For instance, an alcoholic might withdraw from their family and friends, or become unreasonably possessive and jealous.

They might also become easily agitated when confronted or isolated from social interactions. Additionally, they might spend an increasingly large amount of time alone and may be more toxic to interact with.

In utmost cases, dangerous behaviors may be present, such as escalating arguments or dangerous levels of drinking. Last but not least, periods of relapse will sometimes be marked by sudden changes in lifestyle or attitude.

Ultimately, any variation in relationship dynamics should be investigated if an alcohol abuse disorder is suspected.

7. Drinking in Dangerous and Irresponsible Circumstances

Alcoholism can lead to dangerous and irresponsible drinking. Common indications of an alcohol use disorder include frequent, uncontrolled, and unpredictable bouts of drinking.

An alcoholic may drink without regard to the time of day or location. They may also drink in dangerous or irresponsible settings, such as:

  • Behind the wheel of a car
  • In public places
  • While operating machinery
  • While navigating a vehicle

In addition, they may also drink despite negative consequences that often come with risks of physical harm or legal troubles. In any of these circumstances, alcoholism is a serious issue that requires the person to go to rehab or an alcohol detox program.

To provide additional understanding about detox and rehab programs, check this article to help you understand how to use both programs to make a full recovery. 

A Guide to the Common Signs of Alcoholism 

Alcoholism is a serious problem and can have a devastating impact on an individual’s life. It is important to be aware of the signs of alcoholism so you can recognize it in yourself or someone you know.

Seek the advice of a professional to understand the next best steps for recovery. Don’t delay! Take action today to help them regain control of their life.

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