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Signs of Alcoholism

Editor Dan Schimmel, LCSW, CAP
Created On
Updated On

Signs of Alcoholism

It is important to know the signs of alcoholism for anyone that suspects their friend or family member of suffering from this disease. Many individuals will develop a physical dependency on alcohol but others who abuse alcohol regularly may not develop the dependency but will excessively drinking which is a danger to their health as well. Knowing the signs of alcoholism will help you to recognize the need for treatment in your loved one and allow you to approach them in an educated way to offer them the help they clearly need.

Hidden Alcohol Use

A big sign of alcohol dependency, alcoholism, is consuming alcohol in secret. Hiding ones alcohol use is often to avoid the criticism and confrontation from friends and family regarding the amount they are drinking. Those who are dependent on alcohol will often try to justify their drinking and actions, not admitting that they have a clear problem.

A Drink Before Breakfast

Many individuals with an alcohol dependency will begin drinking first thing in the morning or very early afternoon, making excuses for themselves to why they are drinking so early. It is common to hear that it calms their nerves or relieves shakiness, which it may because they are experiencing moderate withdrawal symptoms from not having alcohol in their system.

Poor Hygiene

When alcohol becomes priority in the individuals life the basic priorities like hygiene become less important. Someone with an alcohol dependency may ignore proper hygiene and oral care, wearing unkempt clothing, not bathing, not keeping up facial and hair grooming.

Poor Nutrition

Drinking vast quantities of alcohol on a regular basis will rob the body of nutrition. Chronic alcohol use changes the way the digestive tract works and absorbs the proper nutrition the body needs to remain healthy.

Defensive Attitude

When confronting an alcoholic about their drinking problem they will often become defensive. It is common for an alcoholic to become angry and deny that they have a problem and the suggestion they even have a problem.

The Need To Drink More

When dependent on alcohol there is a physical and mental need to drink more and more alcohol despite the negative effects it has on the individuals life and the lives of their loved ones. They main goal is to consume more alcohol, their thoughts and actions are overwhelmed by the need to drink more alcohol.

Feeling Guilty

Many who drink alcohol in excess, who have developed a dependency of alcohol with express feelings of guilt. When sober they see clearly what mistakes that are making but the cravings to drink more overwhelms their thoughts once again.

Withdrawal Symptoms

When dependent on alcohol it is common for the individual to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms range in severity and often send the individual back to alcohol use for comfort.


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