Alcohol Abuse Treatment - Alcohol Rehab Directory

Person Seeking Treatment Age
Is Person Looking for Treatment?Yes No
More Information
Preferred Contact Method?Phone Email

Alcohol Abuse Symptoms

The main symptom of alcohol abuse occurs when someone continues to drink after their drinking reaches a level that causes recurrent problems. Continuing to drink after it causes someone to miss work, drive drunk, shirk responsibilities or get in trouble with the law is considered alcohol abuse.

Some physical symptoms of alcohol abuse are:

  • Weight loss
  • Blackouts and unconsciousness
  • Slurred speech and dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Redness of face
  • Tingling and numb body parts (especially hands)

Some mental symptoms of alcohol abuse are:

  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • "Just one more glass", failing to quit despite all the efforts
  • Irritability and increased anger
  • Avoiding places that don't allow alcohol consumption
  • Drunken driving and driving in dangerous areas (cliffs or middle of the traffic)
  • Excessive emotional displays (weeping, anger, abusing etc.)
  • Difficulty in keeping commitments

Identifying Alcohol Abuse Symptoms

There are many alcohol abuse symptoms. The biggest barrier to identifying alcohol abuse symptoms is denial both for the alcohol user as well as for the family and loved ones that surround the alcoholic. Denial can cause people to minimize and rationalize the symptoms of alcohol abuse or cause them to overlook the alcohol abuse symptoms all together. Confronting the idea that you or your loved one has an alcohol abuse problem can be very discomforting to say the least and many find themselves unconsciously rationalizing the behaviors and symptoms of alcohol abuse to avoid confronting the fact. Don't allow yourself to be blinded by the mechanism of denial and know these alcohol abuse symptoms before it's too late to do something about it.

Someone with an alcohol abuse problem will often show some of the following alcohol abuse symptoms.

Alcohol abuse symptom 1: Drink more than their friends – almost goes without saying. The individual will sometimes use excuses such as "they are a boring bunch that drink too slow", and there may be some truth there. Nevertheless it is clear that they drink more than his or her friends on almost every occasion.

Alcohol abuse symptom 2: Hide the amount of alcohol consumed - for example in a social situation the individual may buy and quickly consume extra drinks when he thinks no one is looking or he may carry his own bottle or hip flask and top up his drink, again when he thinks no one is looking. In a non-social situation the individual may hide alcohol around the house, for example in the back of drawers or he may hide empty bottles in the neighbour's rubbish bins.

Alcohol abuse symptom 3: Drinks more than intended - good intentions that “this time I will only have one drink, or maybe two drinks, definitely three at the most” seem to go by the wayside, as the individual gets drunk again.

Alcohol abuse symptom 4: Lie about how much they drink – for example denying having had a drink at all or minimising the amount, despite it obviously being untrue. Confrontations along the lines of “You have obviously been drinking” only appear to bring an automatic denial and ever increasing defensiveness.

Alcohol abuse symptom 5: Experience increasing difficulty functioning without a drink - for many people, not just those with a problem, some situations like meeting strangers or relaxing at parties are much easier if they have had a drink to put them at ease. However most people could still relax and have a good time without alcohol. Some problem drinkers come to depend on alcohol to relax them and take away the social unease, in fact without alcohol they can become even more awkward and nervous. This can start a spiral of dependence – drink helps relax – no drink more anxious – drink helps relax.

Alcohol abuse symptom 6: Experience increasing difficulty not drinking - she will have great difficulty refusing a drink when offered and also she will drink at times and situations where she would not have had a drink previously. For example a shopping trip that would have included a coffee break may now have a wine break, or working at home may now have a cocktail break included.

Alcohol abuse symptom 7: Have more frequent and severe withdrawal symptoms - the individual may start to experience withdrawal symptoms such as tremors (hands shaking) and sweating, these are viewed as classic signs of dependency. At first these symptoms may be fairly mild and easily controllable or concealed, however with time they become more severe and start to affect functioning, especially as they are usually accompanied by other symptoms.

Alcohol abuse symptom 8: Feel anxious and guilty in the morning - the feelings of anxiety and guilt can increase the shakes and conversely the shakes can exacerbate the anxiety. The whole package leads to an extremely uncomfortable time and can escalate to panic attacks.

Alcohol abuse symptom 9: Drink in the morning - one obvious way to alleviate such bad feelings is to take a little drink – hair of the dog that bit you. This will settle the anxiety and shakes, at least it will for a while. It is also obvious that when the effect of that drink wears off the anxiety and shakes will return and another drink will be needed and the spiral of alcohol abuse symptoms are reoccuring.

Copyright © 2002-2017