What are the warning signs of alcohol abuse?
These are some of the common warning signs that addiction professionals look for when diagnosing alcohol use disorder. Even a couple of these symptoms, experienced over the course of the past 12 months, can be cause for concern.
Ask yourself, within the past 12 months, have you or your loved one:
- Ended up drinking more or longer than intended?
- Wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking or being sick or getting over the aftereffects of drinking?
- Experienced cravings, a strong need or urge to drink?
- Found that drinking – or being sick from drinking – often interfered with taking care of their home or family, or caused work or school problems?
- Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with their family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities that were important, interesting, or enjoyable to them?
- Gotten into one or more situations while or after drinking that increased chances of injury (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making them feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem?
- Had to drink much more than before to get the wanted effect, or found the usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, withdrawal symptoms occurred, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, sweating, or sensing things that were not there?
If you identify some of these symptoms in your loved one, the important thing is to take action. This is not the time to focus on what led up to this point or question who is to blame. If someone you care about struggles with Alcohol Use Disorder, seek help right away.