Sign of Alcoholism

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited:  September 06 , 
| 3 Sources

Of course, the most obvious sign of alcoholism is drinking too much. But how much is too much? You may be wondering what are some signs of alcoholism in yourself. You may also be looking for alcoholism signs in a friend or family member. We’ll tell you some things to watch out for and here is a simple test.

Of course, many people use alcohol socially or occasionally, and there is a big difference between that and being an alcoholic. Drinking becomes a problem – and possibly a disease – when it begins to interfere with a happy and productive life.

So What Are Some Signs of Alcoholism?

  • One sign of alcoholism is drinking to the point that it interferes with relationships with your family and friends. You may spend more and more time with associates who drink, or choose to drink instead of spending time with family and friends. You may avoid social situations where there will be no alcohol served.
  • Becoming angry or defensive when questioned about your alcohol use is another sign of alcoholism. Drinking in secret, hiding alcohol or empty bottles, or lying about your drinking is a sign of a drinking problem.
  • Becoming anxious about the idea of not having access to alcohol, for instance, worrying about running out of alcohol over a weekend or holiday, is an indication of an alcohol problem.
  • What are some signs of alcoholism in regard to career? Drinking to the point that it interferes with your job, such as missing work due to hangovers or going to work drunk, is yet another indicator that you have a drinking problem. The same applies to school, if you are a student. If you miss school or do poorly in school because of drinking, you have a problem.
  • Legal problems, such as DWI (driving while intoxicated) or assaults while under the influence, are also alcoholism signs. This is especially true if you are a repeat offender. It’s a sign that you are not in control of your alcohol consumption.
  • If you find yourself needing to drink more and more alcohol in order to achieve the same effects, that is a sign that you are developing tolerance and is an indication of alcoholism.
  • Yet another sign of alcoholism is health problems related to alcohol use, such as pancreatitis or liver disease. Social drinkers don’t experience alcohol-related health problems. You should know that many of the health problems caused by alcohol take some time to develop, so they are an indication that a person has been drinking heavily for some time.
  • Wondering if you have an alcohol problem is a sign that there may indeed be a problem. If you are concerned about your drinking, you should talk to a professional about it. If you’re asking what are some signs of alcoholism in yourself, then you need to be evaluated by a professional.

Diagnosing Alcoholism

Just because you have one sign of alcoholism does not necessarily mean you are an alcoholic. You should, however, be evaluated by a healthcare professional who is qualified to make a diagnosis of alcoholism, if appropriate, and make treatment recommendations as needed.

If you recognize some of these alcoholism signs in someone you care about, you can encourage them to arrange for a professional evaluation. You can even show them this article. It can sometimes be difficult, however, to convince alcoholics to seek help. In the end, they must be responsible for their own behavior.

Hopefully we have answered your questions about what are some signs of alcoholism. Feel free to email us if you have additional questions, or you can talk to your healthcare provider for more individualized information.

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

More sign of alcoholism on our alcoholism signs page

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