Ten Signs of Alcohol Abuse You Can’t Ignore

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Alcohol abuse can sneak up on you or someone you love. Often we don’t realize that we are abusing drugs or alcohol until we’re in deep.  You may already be thinking about changing your behavior, but maybe you are waiting for a sign you cannot ignore before seeking help.

Ten Signs of Alcohol Abuse You Cannot Ignore

1. Frequent drinking
You are drinking often, more often than you realize. Whether it is daily, every other day, or binge drinking on the weekend, drinking has become a regular part of your life. You are planning your schedule around it as it becomes the priority in your life.

2. Obsession with drinking
You find yourself thinking about alcohol and when you can get your next drink. You may accidentally ignore people when you are together because you are thinking about drinking or you may choose to avoid people in order to drink.

3. Absenteeism
You are missing work or school due to the consequences of your alcohol abuse. Someone in the workplace may have spoken to you already about your absenteeism or tardiness.  Coworkers may have expressed concern about your social habits after work.

4. Loss of relationships
You have interpersonal problems with friends and loved ones. People close to you are avoiding you or not returning your calls.  You may be having conversations while under the influence of alcohol that you cannot remember, leading to arguments and misunderstanding with friends.

5. Decline in social activity
You avoid your old hobbies and social activities and don’t find new ones.  This consequence of alcohol abuse can make you feel lonely or cause you to feel withdrawn from your life.

6. Increased intake
You need more alcohol to achieve a buzz. You brag that you can “hold your liquor” but inside you know it means you are developing tolerance. The amount you now drink to become intoxicated previously would have made you pass out.

7. Legal consequences
You have experienced legal ramifications from your alcohol abuse. Perhaps it is a citation for being drunk in public. Perhaps you have gotten into physical fights while drunk and ended up in jail. Maybe it is the serious charge of driving under the influence; you may even have crashed or hurt someone while under the influence of alcohol.

8. You experience blackouts
You have unexplained losses of time while drinking, often wondering what you did last night or where time has gone. You wake up not remembering where you are, how you got there, or what you did. You may learn that you have done uncharacteristic things or said things you wouldn’t normally say – things you cannot remember.

9. You lie to cover up your drinking
You tell stories to cover up your drinking.  This is a red flag for an alcohol abuse problem.  You may lie to friends, coworkers and even your spouse to hide your actions.

10. You have tried to stop, but can’t
The bottom line is, you cannot stop drinking. You have tried to put it aside, but you find yourself so uncomfortable that you resume drinking.

If you recognize any of these signs of alcohol abuse, seek help. Treatment and counseling can help you to overcome your addiction to alcohol and regain control in your life.