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Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Addiction Signs for Individuals, Friends and Family

Silhoutte of a woman holding her head
Friends or family may not always know that a problem exists, but signs of addiction are often visible in the person addicted to drugs or alcohol. It is important to be aware of what to look for, since early detection and intervention increase the opportunity for long-term recovery. There are a variety of common signs of addiction that serve as red flags that indicate a person is battling an addiction.

Alcohol Addiction Signs

  • Underage drinking and/or binge drinking.
  • Needing greater quantities of alcohol to achieve the desired effects or to function "normally."
  • Drinking more alcohol to get rid of or ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Attempts to stop or limit drinking are unsuccessful
  • Extensive amount of time needed to recover from the effects of alcohol.
  • Spending lots of time thinking about the next drink.
  • Drinking alone or trying to hide one's drinking patterns.
  • Discontinuing use causes withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, mood swings, irritability, tremors, inability to sleep, and overall sickness.
  • Displaying anger when questioned about one’s drinking patterns.
  • Acting as if drinking is more important than one's friends and family; isolating oneself from one's social support system.
  • Becoming anxious or stressed if a social gathering does not include alcohol.
  • Continuing to drink regardless of the negative physical or psychological difficulties.
  • Drinking frequently or in excess, which may include blackouts when drinking.
  • Making excuses to continue to drink and/or drinking at unacceptable times or places.