7 Warning Signs of Alcoholism

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Alcohol abuse is a serious and dangerous problem, and it’s not as uncommon as you might think. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,  15.1 million adults in the United States are affected by alcohol abuse. Alcohol use disorders (AUD) can be difficult to spot, but it's important to be aware of alcoholism warning signs so that a problem can be identified and treated before irreparable damage is done. In this article Avenues Recovery pinpoints 7 warning signs of alcoholism, and what you should do if you discover these signs in yourself or a loved one.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism to Look Out For

Below are seven signs of alcohol abuse that are likely indicators of an alcohol attachment and require professional guidance:

1. Blackouts

Blacking out from drinking or having memory loss after a night out is one of the normalized signs of alcohol abuse; but it should still cause concern if you see it, especially if someone you know blacks out often.

2. Drinking Every Day

Drinking every day without a break is physically hard on your body and is also a warning sign of alcohol abuse or addiction, especially if it’s combined with one or more of the other signs.

3. Drinking Impacts Everyday Life

When drinking impacts your everyday life, and impedes you from fulfilling your duties, it’s a sign of alcohol abuse. Likewise, if a friend or family member finds it difficult to continue to fulfill all of his responsibilities at work or prioritizes drinking over friends and family, that’s a red flag.

Examples of areas that may be affected as a result of alcoholism are: 

  • Relationships
  • Home maintenance
  • Job responsibilities
  • Financial responsibilities

4. Driving Under the Influence

Make sure you and your friends know just how dangerous driving while under the influence really is. Alcohol-related driving fatalities make up almost one-third of total driving fatalities in the United States. Deciding to fulfill normal tasks, especially driving, while drunk, when aware of the risks, is one of the warning signs of an alcoholic. This is often paired with denial and insistence that alcohol doesn’t have as much of an effect on them as it does, which also leads us to the next point.

5. Hiding Drinking

If a friend tries to hide their drinking or denies the effect alcohol has on them while attempting to perform everyday tasks, take note of it. This is a real warning sign of alcohol abuse, and it’s a sign that they, whether consciously or unconsciously, know that something’s wrong with their alcohol habits.

6. Drinking Alone

Drinking even when others aren’t around, especially if it’s a consistent behavior, is a sign of AUD (alcohol use disorder).

7. Shaking

Shaking is a symptom of alcohol withdrawal, which is a very clear physical alcohol warning sign.

Some other physical indications of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Headaches
  • Convulsions
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever

What to Do When You Recognize Alcoholism Warning Signs

First, if you recognize warning signs of alcoholism in someone you know, talk with them gently and patiently about it. Recognizing their behavior and understanding the risks and dangers that come with it is a process within itself. Make sure you lend your support through the process and encourage them to seek help, but don’t make the decision for them.

If and when they make the decision to stop drinking, make sure they don’t do it alone. Overcoming addiction is a long and difficult process, and anyone trying to overcome alcohol abuse needs a lot of help and support, both from professionals and from friends and family. Plus, alcohol withdrawal is physically dangerous and can be deadly without proper treatment, so we recommend that you find a detox clinic and start the journey there, in a safe place with medical professionals to help you through the process.

What to Know About Warning Signs of Alcoholism

There are several less known signs of alcoholism, such as bad breath after drinking, which you can read about on our website. If you’ve identified signs of alcoholism, it’s important to know that alcohol addiction recovery is a doable, yet long journey. 

The more support an individual gets along the way, the more likely they are to succeed in maintaining sobriety. Take advantage of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. Although they can be intimidating or embarrassing to go to at first, these programs lend much-needed support and are a great way to learn how to live sober after detox treatment is done. To learn more about how to deal with an alcoholic family member and aid their recovery, read through our online resources on the topic.

If you have any questions or want to get started on the path to sobriety, please contact us at Avenues Recovery or call us on 603-505-8365.

Identifying signs of alcoholism in a child can be tricky. Read about signs of teenage alcoholism on our website, to learn what to look out for.

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