Understanding The Symptoms of Alcoholism

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Recognizing symptoms of alcoholism in a friend or family member can be frightening and overwhelming. While getting an addict into treatment is obviously the ideal goal, many loved ones of alcoholics are unsure of how to begin the process. Questions concerning the extent of a loved one’s alcoholism, the type of treatment available and how to go about suggesting rehabilitation are common questions from loved ones. We’ve put together  tips for loved ones of alcoholics on how to spot the symptoms of alcoholism, ways to suggest recovery and find the best type of treatment facility to suit your family’s needs.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Alcoholism

Recognizing the signs of alcoholism is can difficult. In some alcoholics, symptoms are subtle, while, in others, the signs are obvious.   It can be hard to recognize when drinking has become a problem, especially if someone is suffering from binge drinking. The following are a few common symptoms of the disease of alcoholism:


  • Continued drinking after experiencing recurring problems as a result of alcohol.
  • Engaging in Risky behaviors like drunk driving or drinking on the job.
  • Drinking at odd hours, such as in the morning or in secret.
  • Severe mood swings, changes in sleep patterns or other behaviors.
  • Denial or lying about the consumption of alcohol even when the alcohol use is obvious.
  • Signs of physical withdrawal symptoms of alcohol, like tremors or intense cravings.

Alcohol use becomes a problem when it impacts other areas of life.  If you or a loved one cannot get through a night out without binge drinking, or drinks to feel normal every day,  these are symptoms of alcoholism.

What Next?

Once the symptoms of alcoholism are apparent, the next step is encouraging treatment. There are several ways to go about suggesting treatment to a loved one, one of which is an intervention. An intervention is a process where friends and family members meet face-to-face with the addict in question in attempt to get them into recovery.   Interventions can be good as a starting place for a conversation about the alcoholism, but they should be done out of love and concern and not judgment or anger.  Another approach is to simply confront a loved one and discuss the impact f their alcohol abuse on the family. No matter which approach is used, the most important thing to remember is to remain calm, supportive, and non-judgmental.

Choosing a Alcohol Treatment Center

Choosing the right rehab facility is essential to an addict’s recovery. Depending on your loved one’s individual symptoms of alcoholism, that choice can vary.  Look for a program that treats people in similar situations, that has experience with relapse and that is willing to be open about their treatment process and expectations. It’s important to note that in cases of severe alcoholism, an inpatient medical detox is recommended as a first step in treatment. This is due to withdrawal symptoms experienced by many alcoholics, which are best managed in a professional medical setting.

There is Hope!

The effects and symptoms of alcoholism  effect not just the alcoholic, but friends and family members as well. However, treatment is available and, with it, hope of a new life and mended relationships. With determination and support, kicking the habit is an attainable goal.