Alcohol Addiction

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited:  October 2,
| 4 Sources

Alcohol addiction is a devastating disease that affects millions of men, women and youth around the globe. The addiction alcohol causes is a serious one indeed.

This dependence on alcohol is both mental and physical and has the capacity to control all aspects of life. The disease is progressive in nature and increasing amounts of alcohol are required to provide the same euphoric state that consumption provided in the past.

Yet, the addict may be able to drink large quantities of alcohol without appearing intoxicated.

If an addicted individual tries to quit drinking, he or she will likely experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, and similar symptoms.

Alcohol addiction leads to negative complications at work, in relationships, and with the law. It can cause severe financial strain on the individual and his or her family and causes life-threatening health conditions.

It can cause problems at work and school and can even lead to legal problems. Furthermore, alcoholism can take an emotional toll on loved ones and friends.

Yet, individuals who are dependent on alcohol continue to drink even when negative consequences and issues keep occurring. They have lost control of themselves and their drinking. The addiction alcohol causes is demoralizing and lasts a lifetime.

Although there is no cure for the addiction alcohol causes, there are ways to manage the disease and allow individuals to lead satisfying, productive lives.


Indicators of Alcohol Addiction:

Following are some indicators of alcohol addiction:

  • You drink first thing in the morning.
  • If you do not drink, you actually feel sick.
  • You feel anxious if you don’t drink.
  • You hide your drinking.
  • You feel guilty while drinking.
  • Other people have said that they think you have a drinking problem (and especially if you are annoyed by other people talking about your drinking).
  • You feel as though you need to drink.
  • You can’t stop drinking once you start or you often end up drinking more than you meant to.
  • You want to quit but feel you can’t.
  • You miss work or school, or go in late, because of your drinking.
  • You drive while under the influence.
  • You can consume a large amount of alcohol without appearing intoxicated.
  • You start having to drink more and more to get the same effect.
  • You have “black outs” when you have been drinking.
  • You have health problems related to your drinking (and you keep drinking anyway).

In addition to the above signs, there are a number of medical signs that may be noted by a doctor if you get a physical exam, such as a:

  • low white blood cell count,
  • elevated liver enzymes, 
  • fluid in the abdomen, 
  • broken capillaries (small blood vessels) in the face, 
  • a yellowish cast to the skin (caused by poor liver function).

Those who have signs of alcohol addiction should seek help by contacting a counselor, doctor, treatment center, and/or a hospital that specializes in alcoholism rehabilitation. A support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous may be useful as well.

Many individuals will try to quit drinking on their own through moderating their consumption habits. Yet, because alcoholism is an addiction, self-treatment usually does not work even when individuals have the best intent.

The addiction alcohol causes is too severe to be handled by one’s self. Professional assistance is usually necessary for successful rehabilitation.

If you have any questions about the addiction alcohol causes, please feel free to contact us for more information. Of course, you can also contact your doctor or a treatment center near you. You can also look in your phone book for your local AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) chapter.

More than alcohol addiction on our alcoholism signs page

Alcoholism home page

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LPC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More