Information on Alcohol Abuse

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : MARCH 25, 
| 2 Sources

We’d like to give you some information on alcohol abuse, starting with what is alcohol abuse. First, though, take the following self-test.

  1. Have you missed work or school, or been late to work or school, because of drinking or being hung over? 
  2. Have you ever had legal problems due to your drinking, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI)? 
  3. Do you plan recreational activities around drinking? 
  4. Do you drink alone? 
  5. Do you hide your drinking from others? 
  6. Do you get annoyed when others comment on or criticize your drinking habits? 
  7. Do you have arguments with friends or family about your drinking? 
  8. Do you ever have blackouts when you have been drinking? 
  9. Do you do things you shouldn’t do when you are drunk? 
  10. Do you worry that you might have a drinking problem? 

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then you might have an alcohol abuse problem. Read on to learn what is alcohol abuse.

So What is Alcohol Abuse?

The self-test above gives you some information on alcohol abuse. It means that you have a drinking problem. You drink too much and too often.

There are negative consequences to your drinking but you drink anyway. If this describes you, you are abusing alcohol.

What do we mean by “negative consequences” of drinking? We mean things like health problems, DWI’s, arguments with family members, financial difficulties, and problems at work or school. Some of these problems can be quite serious.

Some health problems caused by alcohol, such as cirrhosis of the liver, can be deadly. Legal problems, such as DWI’s, can land you in jail. People who abuse alcohol often suffer from these kinds of problems. Yet they drink anyway.

Now, here is some important information on alcohol abuse. A person who is abusing alcohol is not necessarily addicted. They may still be able to control their behavior to some extent. There is a difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

A person who is dependent on alcohol has a strong and overwhelming urge to drink. They cannot control their drinking behavior. They cannot stop drinking once they start.

They also develop a tolerance to alcohol - they need more and more alcohol to get the same effect. They can often drink a large amount of alcohol without appearing intoxicated.

If you are abusing alcohol but are not yet dependent, beware. You are on the road to becoming an alcoholic. You need to take immediate action and get help before your problem gets any worse.

Getting Help

Now that you have some information on alcohol abuse, you know if you have a problem. If you do, you need to get help. Chances are, you can’t stop drinking on your own.

AA groups are excellent resources for people who abuse alcohol. They are self-help groups for people with drinking problems. You can learn from and get support from other people with similar experiences. You will be able to learn a lot about what is alcohol abuse and how to manage without alcohol.

You may need to seek professional help, as well. See a counselor who specializes in drug and alcohol addiction that can assess you to determine the appropriate level of care for you. You need to see a specialist because they will understand what is alcohol abuse.

Depending on the extent of your problem, you may need inpatient, intensive outpatient, or weekly sessions. A support group like AA will probably be recommended, as well.

Please feel free to contact us if you need any further information on alcohol abuse.

More information on alcohol abuse on our alcoholism disease 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