What Are the Common Signs of Alcohol Addiction?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Signs of alcohol addiction aren’t too hard to notice, be aware

Alcohol is an example of a legal substance that can be abused and prove addictive for some people. Alcohol abuse can have devastating consequences, affecting a person’s health, ability to hold down a job, and relationships with friends and family. However, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a person who occasionally has a few too many and a person with a true alcohol problem. However, over time, a person will start showing signs of alcohol addiction that should not be ignored. The sooner a person can seek professional help, the less likely that alcohol will cause the many effects it is known to have on a person’s life.

Some of the signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • A person cannot cut back on the amount of alcohol they drink, even though they want to.
  • A person wants to cut back on how much they drink but has been unable to.
  • A person has difficulty meeting work or school obligations due to their alcohol abuse.
  • A person keeps drinking, even though they know it is causing them health and mental problems.
  • A person feels like they need to use more and more alcohol to experience the same euphoric effect they once did.

In addition to the feelings and concerns that go with the signs of alcohol addiction, a person may also have physical signs of alcoholism. These can include withdrawal symptoms when they have not had a drink in some time. The withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, sweating, and/or shaking. These and other physical signs of alcoholism can clue family and friends into the fact that a loved one may be struggling with alcohol addiction.

What Makes a Person an Alcoholic?

The key consideration on what makes a person an alcoholic is control. A person who is an alcoholic has lost control over their relationship with alcohol. They are no longer able to control how much they drink. They may even want to stop drinking, but their physical symptoms and strong cravings for alcohol overcome this desire to quit. Alcoholism isn’t always about how much a person drinks, but instead about their relationship with alcohol. If you or a loved one has lost control over this relationship, it is time to seek professional rehabilitation.

Alcoholism affects people of all ages and backgrounds. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated 15.1 million adults older than age 18 had an alcohol use disorder. Men are twice as likely to experience an alcohol use disorder – an estimated 9.8 million men suffer from alcoholism while an estimated 5.3 million women have an alcohol problem.

Being an alcoholic can be a deadly disorder. An estimated 88,000 people die annually due to alcohol-related causes. This means that deaths from alcoholism are the fourth-most preventable disorder in the United States. Alcohol abuse is a leading cause of accidents, such as traffic accidents, falls, and injuries. Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to problems such as cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver and increased risk for certain cancers, such as esophageal cancer.

Help for Signs of Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one has some of the signs of alcohol addiction, it’s important to seek treatment at an alcohol rehabilitation facility. Alcohol withdrawals can cause a serious syndrome known as the delirium tremens or DTs. This syndrome causes a person to experience seizures, hallucinations, and rapid heart rate due to their alcohol withdrawals. At a professional rehab, a person can take medications that allow a person to withdraw from alcohol without experiencing as significant symptoms.