7 Common Signs of an Alcohol Problem

It is important to recognize the signs of alcohol addiction in yourself or a loved one? Here are 7 common signs of an alcohol problem to look out for.

If you’re trying to know if you’re an alcoholic or not, you’re not alone. The fact is that more than 14 million ages 12 and above have experienced alcohol use disorder.

Before you can take control of your life again, you have to acknowledge that something is wrong. The following signs of an alcohol problem can help you see the problem on your end.


1. Frequent Drinking

Frequent drinking is a classic sign of an alcohol problem. It’s easy to become accustomed to drinking casually. It can happen slowly over time, with the drinker not noticing how frequently they are reaching for alcohol.

An alcohol problem could present itself through an increased frequency of drinking. Needing more alcohol to get the same effects and continuing to drink despite negative consequences is also a sign.

Those with alcohol problems will often drink during the mornings or daytime and hide their drinking. They’ll also accumulate large amounts of alcohol, frequently drinking throughout the day, showing an alarming disregard for their own health.

If someone finds themselves frequently turning to alcohol, it may be time to seek help and evaluate their drinking habits.

2. Drinking Alone

Signs of an alcoholic problem may begin to appear when someone starts to drink alone. This can be a sign that the person may be hiding their drinking problem. Usually, drinking alone may indicate that the person worries about judgment or criticism from other people in regard to their drinking habits.

The person may isolate themselves, making it easier to drink without interruption or judgment. When they drink, they may consume more because there is nobody to question their behavior which could lead to them drinking more than they intended to.

Furthermore, the person may become defensive when asked about their drinking. It is important to note that moderate drinking with friends usually is not considered a problem. Thus excessive drinking and drinking alone should raise concerns.

If you think someone may have an alcohol problem, it is important to reach out to them and talk about your concerns.

3. Losing Interest in Activities Originally Enjoyed

Losing interest in activities that were once enjoyed can be a sign of an alcohol problem. Alcoholism is a chronic illness that can lead to an inability to feel pleasure from activities, hobbies, and social engagements which were previously enjoyed.

Moreover, as the disease progresses, it can lead to an increasing preoccupation with alcohol consumption, substituting other activities for drinking. An alcoholic may feel unable to be interested in activities or projects that don’t involve drinking. 

4. Changes in Sleeping Patterns

Changes in sleeping patterns are a common sign of an alcohol problem. People who struggle with alcohol abuse may not be able to fall asleep easily or stay asleep throughout the night, even after drinking alcohol. They may also experience increased sleeping during the day or take more naps than usual.

Alcohol can make it difficult for the body to regulate hormones that influence sleep-wake cycles. It also causes disruptions to one’s sleep schedule. People with alcohol problems may also find themselves waking up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning and then having difficulty getting back to sleep.

It is important to look out for these changes in sleeping patterns and take action if these issues persist, as they could be a sign of a developing or existing alcohol problem.

5. Avoiding Conversations About Alcohol

Signs of an alcohol problem may include avoidance of conversations about alcohol. If someone is drinking more alcohol than is socially acceptable or recommended by health experts, they may choose to avoid conversations about it. They may be uncomfortable talking about it or anxious about being judged for drinking.

Oftentimes, people with an alcohol problem drink more than intended. They have difficulty cutting down and have an increased tolerance requiring larger amounts. They may become disengaged from family and friends as well as display changes in mood or behavior.

If someone is found to be avoiding conversations about alcohol, it may be indicative of a larger problem. It is important to remember this and seek help if necessary.

6. Problems Fulfilling Work and Family Obligations

Those with an alcohol problem may have difficulty fulfilling work and family obligations. They may come late to work or miss work altogether. They may struggle to complete their responsibilities or forget their tasks.

At home, they may forget to go on errands or take care of their families. They may be a source of conflict within their relationships due to their inability to stick to their commitments.

An alcohol problem could lead to difficulty managing deadlines, problem-solving, and communicating with family. They may become reactive and miss social occasions due to drinking in excess.

All of these behaviors are signs of an alcohol problem, leading to problems fulfilling work and family obligations.

7. Irritability and Restlessness

Irritability and restlessness are common symptoms of alcoholism. Someone who is abusing alcohol may become easily frustrated and angry. This may be due to their inability to control their drinking habits or due to withdrawal symptoms as they try to quit drinking.

The person may become restless, with an inability to focus on tasks or to stay still. They may appear anxious and edgy due to alcohol cravings and the possibility of not being able to get the next drink. With the combination of irritability and restlessness, people who are drinking excessively may be at risk of physical or social harm to themselves or others.

Aiding someone who has an alcohol problem should involve skilled professionals. Professionals that know different addiction treatment modalities that can help them safely withdraw and begin the road to recovery.

Common Signs of an Alcohol Problem

If there are signs of an alcohol problem, it is important to get help immediately. It is possible to get help for an alcohol problem through support groups, therapy, and other treatments. If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of alcohol issues, reach out for help today and take advantage of the resources available.

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