Signs of Alcohol Addiction


If an individual is trained and knows what to look for, there are numerous signs of alcohol addiction, both physical and psychological, that will be manifested by alcoholics.

Keep in mind that alcohol addiction, alcohol dependency, and alcoholism are exactly the same thing.

This means that the signs of alcohol addiction are the same as alcoholism signs and alcohol dependency signs.

Alcohol Addiction: Loss of Control

Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses drugs or alcohol.

A person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol has grown so used to the substance that he or she simply "needs" to have the substance in order to "feel right" or to function.

Addiction can be psychological, physical, or both.

It is important to note that a person's loss of control gradually gets worse as the addiction progresses.

This means that in the last stage of addiction, an addicted individual has a total loss of control over his or her drug of choice.


Physical Addiction, Tolerance, and Dependence

Physical addiction takes place when a person's body actually becomes dependent on a particular substance.

It also means that a person develops a tolerance to that particular substance, meaning that the user requires a larger dose than before to get the same "buzz" or "high."

When a person who is physically addicted stops using a substance such as cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal is defined as any psychological or physical disturbance experienced by a drug addict when deprived of the drug.

It can be pointed out that withdrawal symptoms vary from drug to drug.

The seriousness of withdrawal symptoms is highly dependant on the drug or drugs that were abused by the addict.

Withdrawal symptoms for many individuals, are similar to having the flu.

Typical withdrawal symptoms include mood swings, sweating, depression, diarrhea, shaking, muscle aches, and craving for drugs or alcohol.

It needs to be highlighted that alcohol withdrawal symptoms are one of the best signs of alcoholism.

Why? Mainly because an individual needs to be dependent on alcohol in order for him or her to experience alcohol withdrawals.

So if you see someone going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms when he or see suddenly stops drinking, chances are very good that this person is alcohol dependent.

Important Considerations About Psychological Addiction

Psychological addiction occurs when the cravings for a drug are psychological or emotional.

People who are psychologically addicted feel overcome by the desire to have a drug.

These feelings are so strong that in many instances psychologically and physically addicted individuals will do almost anything for their next "fix" including stealing, lying, and in some circumstances, killing.

Many times people abuse drugs or alcohol in order to have "fun" or to get a "buzz."

Many individuals, in fact, report that having a few drinks makes them feel more comfortable in social situations.

The danger, however is this. Repeated drug or alcohol abuse can result in addiction.

When an individual is addicted, he or she no longer takes drugs or alcohol to have fun or to get high.

Rather, the addicted person needs the drugs or alcohol in order to function on a daily basis.

Finally, it is important to mention that frequently, the addicted individual's everyday life centers around satisfying the need for the substance on which they are hooked.

Psychological Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Psychological signs that you or someone you know may be addicted to alcohol include the following alcoholism signs:

  • Using alcohol as a way to forget problems or to "mellow out"

  • Blaming others for one's problems

  • Anti-social behavior

  • Withdrawal or keeping secrets from friends and family

  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be important

  • Changes in friendships, such as associating only with friends who drink

  • A preoccupation with figuring out how to get alcohol

  • Failed attempts to stop drinking

  • Anger, anxiety, or depression

  • Unexplained mood swings

Physical Signs of Alcohol Addiction

The physical signs of alcohol addiction include the following signs of alcoholism:

  • Increased tolerance

  • Changes in sleeping habits

  • Abdominal pain

  • Feeling shaky or sick when trying to stop drinking

  • Stealing from others to finance one's addiction

  • Vomiting

  • Missing work

  • Uncharacteristic problems with the law

  • Nausea

  • Blackouts, not remembering drinking episodes

  • Needing to drink more alcohol to get the same "buzz"

  • Changes in eating habits, including weight loss or gain

  • Puffy face and red eyes

  • Problems with schoolwork, such as absences or falling grades

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)

  • Numbness in the legs or arms

  • Selling belongings to finance one's addiction

  • Swelling of the liver

Conclusion: Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Based on the information provided above, it can be seen that an alcoholic manifests many signs of alcohol addiction or alcoholism signs.

Keep in mind, however, that not all circumstances involving "problem drinking" mean that a person is alcohol dependent.

In other words, although some alcohol abuse signs are very similar to alcoholism signs, if the person does not meet the symptoms and signs of alcoholism discussed above, he or she is more likely than not, an alcohol abuser, and not alcohol dependent.


In most, if not all circumstances, however, alcohol abuse (such as binge drinking) can develop into more serious situations such as alcohol addiction.

If is therefore important for people who exhibit alcohol abuse signs to seek professional alcohol advice as soon as possible so that they can avoid the possible transition to alcoholism.

As a result, if you have friends or family members who exhibit some of the physical or psychological "signs of alcohol addiction," alcohol abuse signs, or signs of alcoholism, try to talk to them and suggest that they seek professional alcohol treatment as soon as possible.