Physical Signs and Other Symptoms of Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism can also include binge drinking, which is defined as more than five drinks for men or more than four drinks for women within a two-hour period. And while people who binge drink may not meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder, they can suffer the same short- and long-term consequences of alcoholics. It’s also called alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse. It is not uncommon for people struggling with alcohol abuse to have a dozen drinks or more a day. Many alcohol drinkers feel the urge to drink more  in order to feel the original effects of their alcohol consumption.

  • While
    alcoholism is a complex disease and diagnosing it isn’t an exact science, several signs and symptoms can indicate
    when your drinking has crossed the line into addiction.
  • If you have a history of withdrawal symptoms, see a health professional before quitting.
  • To learn more about alcohol treatment options and search for quality care near you, please visit the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator.
  • For example, an employee may become intoxicated while on duty or be arrested for drunk driving.
  • What starts as casual drinking advances into dependence and addiction over time.
  • Some common signs and symptoms of cirrhosis include fatigue, itchy skin, weight loss, nausea, yellow eyes and skin, abdominal pain and swelling or bruising.

Also, the severity of alcohol abuse may play a role in the warning signs a person exhibits. For example, some people try to cover their alcohol abuse by drinking in private and isolating themselves from others. This makes it challenging for family members or friends to intervene and help their loved one. Help is available for you no matter which stage of alcoholism you’ve reached. Thousands of people find a solution to their drinking through alcohol rehab each year. Alcohol addiction treatment teaches you more about the nature of your condition and provides you with the tools you need for long-term recovery.

The Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

Anyone who is considering stopping drinking alcohol should speak with a healthcare professional. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) involves a pattern of alcohol use that causes problems that may include excess drinking and interference with relationships or work. Recognizing signs of AUD is the first step in getting treatment. Research has shown that long-term alcohol misuse can have a lasting impact on the brain, although some areas may recover with abstinence.

Can you drink a lot and not be an alcoholic?

“This study shows that, contrary to popular opinion, most people who drink too much are not alcohol dependent or alcoholics,” said Robert Brewer, M.D., M.S.P.H., Alcohol Program Lead at CDC and one of the report's authors.

The former causes people to relax while the latter is excitatory and makes them more active. The pre-alcoholic stage occurs before alcohol is ever a real problem. It’s difficult to identify because alcohol has yet to cause any problems and drinking has not become compulsive.

Charitable Care & Financial Assistance

Your role in dealing with alcoholism in the workplace is crucial. Alcohol shakes happen when the body is going through withdrawal. You may notice tremors between drinking episodes as your body systems struggle to regain equilibrium.

signs of alcoholism

The EAP counselor can explain the importance of the follow-up program to the employee’s continued sobriety. Before actually meeting with the employee, you should gather any documentation of performance or conduct problems and think about what items to discuss with the employee. It is important to be specific about the problems in the employee’s performance and conduct and the particular incidents of concern. It might be helpful to rehearse this or at least go over the documentation with the EAP counselor.

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In reality, they’re in deep denial about the reality of their addiction. Just because someone is high-functioning doesn’t mean they’re not at risk of hurting themselves or others as a result of their drinking. It’s important to treat high-functioning alcoholics just like all other addicts by helping them realize the severity of their addiction and encouraging them to seek treatment.

signs of alcoholism