Symptoms & Signs
Early Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
It’s not always easy to detect a drinking problem or to decipher who’s drinking is actually considered alcohol abuse versus social drinking but there are some signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse that can lead to early detection of this dangerous condition. Because alcohol abuse can lead to a more severe disease known as alcoholism, recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse early on is key to preventing addiction from occurring. The warning signs of problem drinking can sneak up on you but with proper education and knowledge, you can learn how to spot these early signs before addiction is eminent.
Spotting the Signs of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is not necessarily alcohol dependence or addiction but this can lead to addiction so it’s important to realize when there is a potential problem at hand. Consider these signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse as a warning of what may be to come:
- Neglecting responsibilities at work, home or school in order to drink or as a result of drinking. For example, if you cheat or perform poorly at work or at school or you skip out on commitments because you are drunk or hung over you may be suffering from alcohol abuse.
- Risky behaviors while under the influence of alcohol such as drinking and driving, operating heavy or dangerous machinery while under the influence of alcohol or drinking alcohol while under the influence of other medications or drugs.
- Legal problems associated with drinking such as getting a DUI, public intoxication, or being arrested for disorderly conduct while under the influence of alcohol.
- Drinking to relax, de-stress or otherwise mask your feelings such as to sooth yourself at the end of a difficult day or getting drunk because you are unhappy with the way a particular event or situation occurred.
- Drinking despite problems being caused by the alcohol in your social life. For instance, if you drink despite fights or arguments in your relationships or within your family that surround your drinking this is a sign of alcohol abuse.
- Blacking out or forgetting what you did or what happened while you were under the influence of alcohol.
- Feeling a need to drink in order to socialize, relax, have fun or otherwise be happy.
- Drinking more than you intended
If you or someone you love is showing any of these signs of alcohol abuse, it’s time to seek immediate help. It’s never too late to get the help and support that you need. In fact, early detection and admission to a problem with drinking is key to getting the help you need and to preventing long term consequences from occurring.