What Are the Common Signs of Alcoholism?

In the United States, about 14.5 million people who are over age twelve have an abusive relationship with alcohol.

If you think that you might fit in with those millions of people, you might be wondering what the signs of alcoholism are.

Thankfully, we have you covered. Keep reading to find out what warning signs to watch out for when you suspect there’s a drinking problem.

Common Signs

There are a few common signs that there’s an alcohol problem, but they come in three stages.

There are normally early signs, and then there are symptoms that get progressively worse. There are also a few physical symptoms to keep an eye out for. 

Early Signs

Early signs of alcohol addiction include things like always drinking heavily. People may also start drinking when it’s dangerous for them, like while they’re driving. 

If they’re frequently drunk and always talking about how they want their next drink, this could also be a warning sign. They may even start thinking about alcohol all the time, trying to figure out when they’re going to get their next drink. 

If they’re drinking all the time, they’ll likely be drunk more often than they’re sober. In some severe cases, they may even get blackout drunk and won’t be able to remember what happened while they were drinking.

Worsening Signs

If you start to notice those signs, in a few months (or weeks), you may start to pick up on these signs as well. 

After they’ve drunk enough to where they’ve built a tolerance to it, they won’t be able to get as drunk as they used to. This could mean that they need to drink more alcohol than they planned to. They may even drink enough to make it dangerous to themselves. 

If you try and bring the problem up to them, they may even deny that there is an issue. To them, it may just seem like they’re going out and enjoying a drink, and they’ll likely get defensive. 

They may also start drinking right when they wake up and experience mood swings and personality changes because of it. 

Physical Signs

Drinking too much alcohol can also leave physical changes behind. Someone who drinks all the time might get broken capillaries in their nose and face because alcohol affects the blood.

It also helps to dehydrated people, so they may start to have bad skin, hair, and nails. They might get more wrinkles and look like they’ve aged a few years even if they haven’t. 

As it gets harder to manage their continuous drunken state, they may start to not care about their personal hygiene either. Even if they do brush their teeth, you’ll likely be able to smell the alcohol on their breath, especially if they’re drinking heavily. 

They may stop eating to try and reach that drunken state again. Or they may stop eating because they’d rather drink, but either way, they’ll likely start to lose a lot of weight. 

The alcohol will also start to take a toll on their liver and leave damage behind. This liver damage could also cause them to have yellow eyes. 

How to Recognize Signs You Have a Problem With Alcohol

If you think that some of those symptoms apply to you, there are a few questions to ask yourself to see if you’re struggling with alcohol addiction. 

There is a professional screening questionnaire that a doctor can give you, but these questions can warn you that something is off. 

  • Do you feel like you drink too much?
  • Are people annoyed with how much you drink? Have they told you so?
  • Do you ever feel guilty when drinking?
  • Do you ever have a drink in the morning or to cure a hangover? 
  • Have you had urges to drink?
  • Do you remember the last times you drank?
  • How many times do you drink more than you mean to?
  • Have you been in trouble with the police due to your drinking?
  • Have you caused harm to yourself or others because you were drinking?

If you answer yes to a few of these questions, you should reach out to your doctor. 

How to Get Help 

While a doctor is a great place to start for help, there are many other things you can try as well.

That includes rehabs like California Rehab Campus, support groups, and therapy. 

Detox or Rehab

By detoxing, you are forcing your body to go through the withdrawal process. Rehab is often a safe place to do this because they can supervise you and help you manage your symptoms or side effects.

You can choose to do either an outpatient or inpatient, but they’ll be able to supply you with medications and support. 

Support Groups

Once you’ve gone through detox, you can find plenty of support groups. These are filled with people who are going through the same struggles as you are. 


Lastly, therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy can help people understand and control their urges. 

It can help you understand and unpack the psychological aspects that drove you to misuse alcohol. You can also work on managing any anxiety and depression so that you aren’t tempted to pick up a bottle in the future.

Discover More of the Common Signs of Alcoholism

These are only a few of the common signs of alcoholism, but there are many more signs as well. 

We know that it can be stressful trying to deal with alcoholism, but you’re not alone. Thankfully, we’re here to help you out.

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