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Ten Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Ten Warning Signs of Alcoholism can be read in conjunction with the Signs of Alcoholism and drug addiction – where you’ll find a list of many of the main indicators of an addiction to alcohol or drugs. But if I were to provide a list of 10 warning signs that I believe show you or a loved one to be on the slippery slopes of alcoholism or addiction – then this would be it.

I’ll also try and put the signs into an order from 1 – 10 in ascending order of severity based on my experiences and what I’ve observed in others. In other words sign 1 will be an early warning sign of alcoholism - whereas number 10 would show your alcoholism to be more advanced and well established.

Of course when considering lists such as these – there will no doubt be signs and symptoms of alcoholism that could easily be added and the order they are in open to debate.

But because we’re only looking at ten warning signs of alcoholism, let me give you the 10 I consider to be especially revealing ...

Alcoholism 10 Signs:

1.) Increase in Tolerance

I believe the first warning sign in developing a dependence on alcohol is that your tolerance to alcohol increases. You need to drink more to get the same effect you did before. This is pretty normal for many drinkers so nothing to be overly alarmed at yet.

2.) Finding More Reasons To Drink

This goes hand in hand with the first warning sign and both are easily inter-changeable with each other. Before it might have been that you had pretty set patterns you drank to, e.g. on weekends, at certain times (e.g. glass of wine for dinner) or for specific social engagements (parties, barbecues etc.)

Now you’re finding additional reasons to drink. Maybe to help with extra stress you’re experiencing, ‘help’ dealing with a nagging spouse or difficult partner, work ... it could literally be anything. And so without even realising, alcohol is starting to become a crutch for you. This is where alarm bells should be starting to go off.

3.) Start Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms

Not only have your hangovers started getting worse, but suddenly you might find yourself getting the shakes after drinking, feel more anxious and start experiencing Symptoms of Anxiety, maybe even start to feel depressed.

Some people are lucky and despite drinking huge quantities never experience major withdrawal symptoms. But if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the withdrawal symptoms I mention above – a problem has definitely developed. Often in these cases you’ll have a drink or two (usually the morning after) to help you feel ‘normal’ again.

4.) Experiencing Regular Blackouts

It’s not unusual after a bender to experience a blackout where you don’t have any recollection of what happened or what you did while you were drunk. But once this starts occurring more regularly you are starting to get into dangerous territory and shows a sure sign of alcohol dependence.

5.) Feeling You Need To Cut Down or Control Your Drinking

You kind of sense or feel that things may be starting to get out of control and are starting to get alarmed about your drinking (usually privately without telling anyone) - so you tell yourself you need to cut down. You may even do this for a week or two – but before long you have another blowout because you just couldn’t help yourself and feel guilty as a result.

6.) You start avoiding family and friends

You start withdrawing and becoming more isolated, especially from those previously close to you. Loved ones’ may even have started commenting on your drinking, which often results in arguments.

Often the kind of people you now prefer to spend time with are drinking buddies or acquaintances who don’t comment on your habits and who you enjoy a very superficial relationship with that mostly revolves around alcohol.

7.) Lying About How Much You Drink

Of the ten warning signs of alcoholism, no 7 is lying about how much you drink, and when you start doing that it’s a pretty clear sign that your alcoholism is at a pretty developed stage.

8.) Begin Developing Problems With Usual Daily Activities

This is where you start struggling to cope with things on a day to day basis. Your work begins to suffer, relationships rapidly deteriorate, you may start getting into trouble financially – it basically feels like things are starting to fall apart. This is a pretty advanced stage of alcoholism.

9.) Failed Promises to Quit

Your alcoholism is now pretty much an ‘open secret’ amongst those you know – even if you still deny the extent of the problem. So you make promises to those who confront you about your drinking, or even to yourself, that you’ll quit. And maybe you even do for a week or two. But it never lasts and before long you’re drinking again with a vengeance.

10.) Your Life Falls Apart

By this stage your alcoholism is so advanced that your life falls apart. You lose your job, your spouse or partner leaves you, your health gets worse, you may even get in trouble with the law. At this stage, many lose everything. For some, their health gets so bad, their alcoholism ends up killing them.

These ten warning signs of alcoholism are by no means an exhaustive list. But they do give you a good idea of what to look out for. Take this Alcoholism Test - which is in the form of a diagnostic questionnaire to also provide you with a pretty accurate indicator as to whether you or a loved is suffering from alcoholism.

Living With an Alcoholic also provides you with helpful information as to what to do if this applies to you and knowing how alcoholism progresses through the Alcoholism Stages may also prove to be insightful.

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