How to Identify an Alcoholic

Learn how to identify an alcoholic if you suspect a loved one is abusing alcohol

Do you think your loved one may be an alcoholic? Does he seem to be drinking more than usual and starting to behave differently? The continuous seeking out and use of alcohol, regardless of negative consequences is the definition of alcohol abuse. There are specific signs and symptoms that reveal how to identify an alcoholic, such as:

  1. Alcoholics usually have a smell of liquor on their breath, and have slurred speech and an uneasy gait to their walk. They may exhibit poor balance, stumbling and delayed reflexes.
  1. Sometimes an alcoholic’s face will become red.
  1. Alcoholics can have blackouts and will not remember things that occurred during the blackout. They can also lose consciousness.
  1. Alcoholics will spend a lot of their time drinking and recovering. They may begin to withdraw from family and friends to go drink – often alone or with their drinking buddies.
  1. The effects of alcohol can cause the addict to become neglectful of his duties and responsibilities. He may begin to exhibit poor performance and attendance at work and lose his job, which can result in financial loss.
  1. Some alcoholics will borrow or steal money to buy alcohol. Some may commit crimes to get money for alcohol and can become incarcerated.
  1. There may be a marked change in the alcoholic’s personality, and he may have angry or violent outbursts. He can also become abusive and dangerous to himself and others.
  1. Family problems may arise because of alcohol addiction that can result in estrangement, legal separation and divorce.


Alcohol addiction can cause devastating effects in the drinker’s brain and body, affecting his mental and physical well-being. Once the alcoholic builds up a tolerance to alcohol, he will have to drink more to get the same effects that he did before tolerance. You may notice a significant increase in your loved one’s intake of alcohol, and he may also get hangovers the next day. Alcoholism symptoms vary and can include:

Other alcoholism symptoms can include a weakened immune system, depression, damage to brain neurotransmission, pneumonia and tuberculosis. If you, or your loved one, have an alcohol addiction you will need to get professional help to safely detox at a drug treatment center.


Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol addiction can cause life-threatening complications and the alcoholic should never stop drinking cold-turkey. The safest place to detox from alcohol is in an alcohol treatment facility where you will receive a medically supervised detox to control withdrawal symptoms while you go through the process. Some alcohol symptoms of withdrawal are:

Medications are available to help assist the patient through the difficult withdrawal process. Once the patient completes detox, he should begin a series of psychological and behavioral counseling therapies, and relapse prevention strategies to help him heal and remain sober in the future. After the recovering alcoholic has left the rehab center, he should continue with counseling sessions and support group meetings to help him stay on course, and begin to build a new and better life for himself.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please do not hesitate to call Better Addiction Care today at 1.800.429.7690 for help with your search. We will answer any and all of your questions and assist you in finding the best rehab for your family’s needs.