Signs of Alcoholism - Addiction Treatment Services

Problematic Drinking: Signs of Potential Alcohol Dependence

Problematic Drinking Signs of Potential Alcohol Dependence - Addiction Treatment Services

Most people don’t know when they’ve developed a physical and emotional dependence on a substance. Many ask, “Can you have a drinking problem and not be an alcoholic?”

The answer is yes, and only help in the early stages can stop it from getting worse. Intervention by friends and family should happen as soon as possible, but to do that, everyone needs to know what to look for.

Basic Signs Of Alcohol Abuse

These signs of habitual drinking may indicate a growing alcohol problem:

Defensive Response to Comments

Family and friends are the first to notice the changes that alcohol causes in a person. Don’t ignore this input from other people, and pay particular attention to the individual’s response.

An individual who may develop alcoholic addiction down the road will often react to these types of comments with irritation and anger.


If a person makes comments about needing a drink or that a drink would really hit the spot, this person may be showing signs of problematic drinking.

If such a craving exists, the individual is showing one of the first signs of addiction: a chemical alteration to the brain created by alcohol that the brain now demands to continue functioning consistently.

Legal Problems

Continued run-ins with the police or other legal violations that stem from alcohol abuse warn of pending problems. If the individual can’t stop getting into this kind of trouble, it’s indicative of an addiction taking hold.

Issues in Relationships

A person who begins having issues in their relationships with family, friends, and coworkers – as a result of their alcohol consumption – has taken the first step toward addiction. Soon, he or she will have the same problems interacting with anyone, including complete strangers.

Other Drugs

If a person can’t find the desired alcohol, they may turn to other options to fill a craving. The person may become desperate to find a fix. This has the potential to lead to multiple substance abuse problems.


After growing accustomed to the presence of alcohol in the system, people can experience mood swings when that substance is gone. This can include becoming angry or irritated with everything and everyone they encounter.

Promise to Quit

If people who enjoy too much alcohol in their life begin making promises not to consume any for an event, this serves as a warning sign. They are aware that they consume too much to realize avoiding it in certain circumstances is a good thing. People often make such promises around important events, such as a wedding, a work event or before driving somewhere.

Doctor’s Warning

If an individual is told by their doctor, or some other medical professional, that they are exhibiting signs of an alcohol problem, and then they argue with the medical professional or ignore them, a problem exists or has already begun.

Losing Consciousness

If a person wakes up and has no recollection of what happened or how he or she got there, it is likely the result of some form of substance abuse, such as alcohol. Alcohol consumption at this level indicates the problem has moved closer to full addiction.

Expenditures on Alcohol

People developing a dependence on alcohol will begin spending more and more money on alcohol. This may progress to detrimental spending levels that leave the person in financial trouble. This, in turn, reinforces the perceived need for a drink to escape the problems or one’s low self-esteem.

Inability to Focus

If an individual successfully chooses to abstain from alcohol for a day or a week and he or she begins complaining of difficulties in focusing or completing tasks, this person is exhibiting signs of dependence. Withdrawal symptoms will further exacerbate these issues.

Additional Problem Drinking Signs

Other indicators can be warning signs of a person’s path toward alcohol addiction. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) Hangover with Shakiness or Trembling

No one enjoys a hangover, and such an event is not indicative of a developing addiction, in and of itself. However, the severity and resulting effects can indicate a blossoming problem.

If the hangover keeps a person confined to bed for long periods of time or causes the person begins to feel shaky or starts to tremble, this is another warning sign that shows how easy it is for a person to cross the line from a simple hangover to serious consequences from overindulging.

If these types of hangovers become more frequent, the person affected is likely heading toward addiction.

2) Alcohol Use for Moderation of Stress

Most people know when they need to take a specific type of painkiller based on the type of pain they are experiencing, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for reducing inflammation or muscle soreness.

If the body sends the signal that alcohol is the remedy to reduce the stress or anxiety, the person has likely created a dependence on the substance, altering the body’s chemical make-up.

3) Alcohol Inventorying

If a person can list precisely how much alcohol is left in his or her possession, a problem generally exists. Worse still, if the person includes plans for how to replace their consumed alcohol, it’s a signal that the person has grown so dependent on the substance that they’ve altered their lifestyle to accommodate their habit.

What You Can Do When You See Signs of Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse, dependence, and addiction happens slowly, but it does progress. The person experiencing the progression often not see it happening even if the changes are steadily worsening.

Be aware of your friend or loved one’s habit and monitor it for signs of a more serious problem developing in the future. Contact Addiction Treatment Services today for more information about intervention and treatment for alcoholism.

Find Out How to Arrange an Intervention


Alcohol Consumption Trends Examined

alcoholdrinksRecently, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) released a study that shows that women are beginning to drink just as much as men in the United States. For decades men have typically consumed much more alcohol than women. Generally, men’s bodies can handle more alcohol than women due to height and weight differentials, and the culture has supported an environment where men drink more than women. However, this is all starting to change, according to the research conducted by the NIAAA.

“We found that over that period of time, differences in measures such as current drinking, number of drinking days per month, reaching criteria for an alcohol use disorder, and driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year, all narrowed for females and males. Males still consume more alcohol, but the differences between men and women are diminishing,” explained Aaron White, lead researcher on the study.

This information is particularly alarming because women’s bodies are not as equipped to handle as much alcohol as men and are more susceptible to alcohol-related diseases. Liver inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurotoxicity are more likely to occur in women who consume larger amounts.

Despite uncovering the fact that women are beginning to drink nearly equal quantities, the researchers are not sure what the cause for this trend change is. Some people speculate that because more women are working than in past studies, they are in environments where alcohol is much more prevalent, such as entertaining clients and co-workers. Other reasons for this change could have to do with increased social media exposure where drinking is often highlighted or a general increase in acceptance to alcohol. There is also the pop culture influence with heavy drinking and partying being glorified on the radio, tv and online.

Better education and prevention programs will be important factors when it comes to women’s health as it relates to alcohol consumption and other related issues. This also impacts treatment facilities as more women wind up needing help, as additional gender-specific components will be required.

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse or alcoholism, contact us. We can help you find an alcohol treatment program that’s right for you.

Study Shows Alcohol Makes Everything Seem Intentional

pspbulletinHave you ever witnessed an altercation started by an accidental shoe scuffing or drink-spilling? Science explains why alcohol consumption sometimes leads to really pointless fights.

Recent findings prove that a drunken individual is more likely to perceive other people’s actions as being deliberate and intentional, rather than accidental. In a sober state, when given time, a person is more likely to think things through and consider all the reasons why something could have happened.

Interestingly enough, according to the brain’s natural intentionality bias, those who are forced to make snap judgments about the behavior of others more frequently infer intent compared to those who have more time to process the information and consider other possibilities.

It can be assumed that when under the influence, people make that default judgment where all actions are intentional, and the voice of reason is less likely to come along and interfere with that conclusion. You could say that the drinking judge’s verdict is more likely to be guilty.

In an experiment titled “There Is No Such Thing as an Accident, Especially When People are Drunk” published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, researchers report on a study of 92 male participants who are made to go three hours without food, then they are given a shot of wither juice or juice with more than a shot of pure alcohol. An alcohol coating on the rim of the glasses masked the placebos.

The men thought they were participating in a taste test. After 30 minutes of unrelated activities, the participants were asked to determine whether a series of deliberate, accidental or vague stated actions were deliberate or accidental.

Nearly all the participants, no matter what condition, judged all the unambiguous statements correctly. However, when the actions were ambiguous and could have been performed either intentionally or unintentionally, the “drunk” participants were much more likely to perceive the actions as deliberate than the sober participants were.

The experiment shows that despite whether the subject is aware of their drunken state, they are still less likely to judge behavior as being unintentional. This study certainly explains the high frequency of altercations and arguments in bars, at sporting events and on reality TV shows. It also gives additional insight to why other bad decisions are made when someone is under the influence of alcohol by showing how their thinking becomes distorted.