For many people, enjoying a glass of wine with dinner or having a beer with friends can be a pleasurable experience. However, when alcohol consumption begins to negatively affect one’s health, relationships, or daily responsibilities, it may be a sign of a more significant issue: alcohol addiction. Recognizing the symptoms of alcohol addiction can be the first crucial step toward seeking help and achieving recovery.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a medical condition characterized by an inability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. It arises from complex factors, including genetics, how you were raised, your social environment, and your emotional health.

Physical Symptoms

  1. Increased Tolerance: Needing to consume more alcohol to feel its effects or experiencing reduced effects when drinking the same amount.
  2. Withdrawal: Experiencing nausea, sweating, shakiness, anxiety, or other symptoms when not drinking.
  3. Loss of Control: Drinking more or for longer periods than intended.
  4. Neglect of Personal Appearance: Not caring about or neglecting personal grooming or appearance.

Behavioral Symptoms

  1. Preoccupation with Alcohol: Constantly thinking about when you’ll have your next drink or going out of your way to get alcohol.
  2. Neglecting Responsibilities: Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home due to alcohol use.
  3. Isolation: Withdrawing from family, friends, and loved activities to drink.
  4. Risk-Taking: Engaging in risky behavior, like drinking and driving or mixing alcohol with prescription medications.

Psychological Symptoms

  1. Increased Aggression: Becoming violent or aggressive toward others while drinking.
  2. Mood Swings: Experiencing significant highs and lows or other mood changes.
  3. Defensiveness: Becoming overly defensive or denying the drinking problem when confronted.
  4. Denial: Being in denial about the severity of the alcohol problem or making excuses for drinking.

Social Symptoms

  1. Damaged Relationships: Causing or experiencing more frequent fights or disruptions because of drinking.
  2. Avoidance: Avoiding social situations or places where alcohol isn’t available.
  3. Legal Problems: Facing legal issues like DUIs or acts of violence due to drinking.
  4. Job Loss or School Problems: Losing a job or having academic issues because of drinking or hangovers.

Taking the Next Step

If you or someone you know is displaying several of these symptoms, it could be indicative of an alcohol addiction. Accepting that there might be a problem is a brave first step.

Alcohol addiction is a serious condition, but with recognition and the right support, recovery is possible. If you believe you or someone you love may be struggling, don’t wait. Reach out to professionals, support groups, and rehabilitation centers that can provide guidance and support. Remember, every journey starts with the first step, and understanding these symptoms is the initial stride toward a healthier future.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) could be forwarded to SAMHSA or a verified treatment provider. Calls are routed based on availability and geographic location.

The helpline is free, private, and confidential. There is no obligation to enter treatment. In some cases, could charge a small cost per call, to a licensed treatment center, a paid advertiser, this allows to offer free resources and information to those in need by calling the free hotline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses.