5 Signs Someone Has an Alcohol Problem

When looking at those around you, it may or may not be obvious who does or doesn’t have an alcohol problem. The staggering drunk, the man who has had 5 charges of Driving Under the Influence or the women with delirium tremens (DT’s) are very obvious cases. However in other cases, where it is not so obvious you may have to look for more subtle sighs that the person has an addiction or abuse issue.  It is estimated by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention that 16 million people in the United States are alcoholics. But, what actually determines that someone is addicted? And, does a man or woman have to be “fully addicted” to alcohol to meet the criteria for professional help?

The following list gives a general idea of some standard signs that someone has an alcohol problem. 

Signs That Alcohol Use Has Become A Problem 

1. Excessive Drinking

This type of drinking is usually more apparent. You or someone you know may find that when they drink they like to or need to drink a lot. A buzz isn’t enough to keep them happy. Maybe they are going through an emotionally stressful time and they prefer to black out to escape it for a while.

They have probably on more than one occasion reached the point of drinking where they have gotten sick from alcohol use. Or have started drinking early in the day and continued throughout the night. In either case the behavior qualifies as excessive drinking and is likely an indicator or a bigger problem.

2. Continuing to Drink Despite Negative Effects

Some people become very confrontational and even violent when they drink. Others can become forgetful, irresponsible and even careless. Regardless of the behavior while intoxicated, when someone is drinking too much it can often upset, anger or sadden friends or loved ones. Drinking too much can even interfere with work and other responsibilities. If this has become the case with someone who is drinking it is likely that they may have an alcohol problem. And, in some cases, their loved ones may have asked, begged and pleaded with this person to stop drinking but have had no effect on his or her actions.

3. Drinking in More Than just Social Situations

Alcoholics still drink in social settings, but sometimes you will find an alcoholic who feels the need to get drunk on his own. They will smuggle some alcohol into their working environment so they can sneak a drink here and there to get through their work day. They will be extremely excited to get home to their empty houses at the end of the day so they can sit back, relax and drink a forty. It becomes more of a need and a desire than a fun activity they do with friends. It is just a part of their lifestyle.

There is also the case of the alcohol user who drinks more in social settings or when he or she is out with friends. If alcohol use is excessive or this type of behavior is frequent, it is likely that there is an ongoing abuse issue.

4. Unable to Control Alcohol Use

Sometimes the alcoholic realizes he or she has a problem but is unable to stop. He or she realizes the effect that they are having on those around them and the effect alcohol is having on his or her body. But instead of quitting, the individual finds themselves drinking even more to forget their problems. In this case, it is extremely self destructive of he or she to continue, but some may anyway. This is a clear sign of an alcohol addiction issue. 

5. Financial Problems Due to Drinking

Another clear sign that someone may have a problem with alcohol abuse is their financial situation. They may be able to go to the bar every night and drink a hundred dollar tab but they are unable to buy their lunch or pay you back for the coffee you bought them last month. They might find it hard to pay their rent and they face eviction from their home. When it comes to getting more alcohol, an alcoholic will be able to find a way to get some but they will be unable to do the same when their other more survival needs are at stake like food, shelter and transportation.

Getting Help for Alcoholism 

If you or someone you know is an alcoholic, it is never too soon to get help. The sooner you find help the sooner you can see yourself or your loved one on the path towards a happy, healthy life free from the shackles and chains of your addiction. If you are suffering from alcoholism yourself, there is no need to face recovery alone – there are trained professionals to give you the tools and support you need to beat or help your loved one beat the habit for good.  Contact us today for more information.


Medline Plus: Alcoholism and alcohol

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