Drug and Alcohol

What Are the Warning Signs of Alcoholism?

Alcoholism can sneak up on a person. Recognizing its signs might save someone's life ... or even yours. Learn more with our blog or by calling today!

What Are the Warning Signs of Alcoholism?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 11, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

One in eight individuals struggles with alcoholism. With awareness regarding this once seemingly harmless drug on the rise, it is an excellent time to identify warning signs that an individual's drinking habit has evolved into alcoholism.

But what are the warning signs of alcoholism?

Might some of the characteristics be misleading? How and where can a person find help if the warning signs are apparent?

Understanding Alcoholism

A potent substance that many Americans use on a day-to-day basis is alcohol. Just because it is legal does not mean that many individuals do not struggle with overconsuming the substance. Sometimes individuals will drink alcohol to relinquish stress and unwind after a challenging day or week.

Individuals may also use alcohol when socializing or celebrating a holiday or milestone. When one starts drinking more often or even regularly, it could lead to alcoholism. Alcoholism can lead to severe health issues, relationship problems, and even occupational challenges and fluctuations. Many signs of alcoholism can be spotted. Determining if an individual struggles with alcohol can be the first step to identifying if they may need help.

Developing an Alcohol Use Disorder

Those who drink moderate amounts are unlikely to develop alcohol use disorder. Yet, it can differ from one person to the next. When individuals start drinking more than four alcoholic beverages in a day, they may be more at risk for alcohol use disorder or struggle with alcoholism. Problematic drinking can also start when people drink when they’re underage.

As alcohol use disorder develops over time, the individual will notice increased tolerance to the drug—meaning an individual will need to consume more to feel the same effect from the drink. Additionally, they may become angered or irritable, lack hygiene and nutrition, hide alcohol, and decrease their performance in relationships or occupations. Alcohol use disorder develops over time as tolerance builds up, leading to alcoholism.

Five Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Individuals use alcohol differently and for different reasons. Sometimes it is based on reliance, habit, or fun, but ultimately, alcohol is consumed because people like the effects produced. Many cross that fine line when their consumption leads to alcoholism.

Individuals who drink more than a moderate amount will tend to consume more because of environmental triggers and physical and emotional reasons, leading to alcoholism.

The five warning signs of alcoholism include:

#1. Regular blackouts or loss of memory

#2. Hiding consumption or telling lies about drinking habits

#3. Lack of performance within relationships or occupational responsibilities

#4. Recklessness or anxiety and panic attacks

#5. Developing physical and emotional reasons to drink daily

While there are many other warning signs, these are a few more prominent signs of alcoholism. Other risky symptoms can include:

  • Loss of interest and hobbies

  • Consuming alcohol despite dangerous circumstances

  • Lack of concern for others

For example, if someone continues to drink and drive, they may be struggling with alcoholism or are not recognizing that they have a drinking problem.

Are There Misleading Signs?

Some may wonder if some of the signs of alcoholism may be misleading. Yes, there can be misleading signs of alcoholism, such as dry skin. The prominent warning signs are most often an accurate identifier of alcoholism.

Some individuals may consume alcohol and show signs of a disorder developing, but it may not necessarily mean that they are alcoholics. It means that they may need help, but at the same time, it is essential to recognize that there may be other health concerns in the mix that cause misleading signs.

Noticing the warning signs of alcoholism in oneself or a loved one means that it is crucial to reach out and find help through drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Identifying the Warning Signs and Getting Help 

The longer that treatment goes undetected or unaddressed, the more an individual puts themselves and others in harm's way. Alcohol is a leading cause of death in the United States and has taken many lives from drinking and driving to overdose.

When concerned about oneself or a loved one, finding help from someone who understands alcoholism and alcohol use disorder can guide individuals in the right direction to a healthier lifestyle.

It is important for individuals to remember that they do not need to be afraid of reaching out and consulting a professional regarding personal drinking habits or genuine concern for a loved one. There are various signs of alcoholism, and they can affect relationships, thoughts, behaviors, occupations, and reactions in many different ways.

No one situation is the same as the next, and if an individual is drinking or consuming alcohol regularly or relying on the drink too much, there is help available.

The Forge Recovery Center knows it is important to have someone on your side that can identify the warning signs and help you can save your life and the lives of others.

If you can recognize the warning signs and identify them before the situation becomes dangerous, you can save lives. It is time to take the next step forward and find the best care for you or your loved one.

The Forge is here to help you. Reach out to us today to get a deeper understanding of the warning signs of alcoholism. If you struggle with alcoholism, we are here to help.

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