What are the Symptoms of Alcoholism?

If you are concerned about your drinking, or the drinking habits of a loved one, you may be wondering how you can tell if there’s a problem. There are some tell-tale signs that serve as red flags when it comes to alcohol consumption. The signs may be subtle at first, but they will get worse over time.

Someone who is in the early stages of alcoholism will be drunk more often than usual, and will begin to settle into a regular pattern of drinking heavily:

  • His personality may also begin to change, especially when he’s drinking.
  • He may become more out-going, or more violent.
  • Another early sign is consistent risk-taking, such as drinking while driving.

As the alcoholism gets worse, the drinker will begin to cover-up or lie about his drinking habits:

  • He will also continue to drink despite the negative effect it has on relationships or his job.
  • He will begin to avoid or ignore his responsibilities both at home and at work, and will often have excuses for it.

When alcohol abuse has developed into full-blown alcoholism, the person is now physically dependent on alcohol.

  • If this person abstains from drinking for any length of time, she will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
  • An alcoholic typically begins to develop a tolerance for alcohol as well, meaning she needs to drink larger and larger quantities in order to get drunk.
  • As tolerance develops, the risk for alcohol poisoning also increases.

Intervening in someone’s life at any of these stages can prompt her to get the help she needs.

Some people wrongly believe that alcoholics have to hit “rock bottom” before they’ll seek help, but that isn’t true. The moment you suspect that something isn’t right, talk to your loved one.

Don’t wait for something awful to happen. Step in right away. You could save the person months, years, or even a lifetime of misery.

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