Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction can be difficult to identify, but there are several distinctive signs and symptoms of the disease. Alcohol abuse can be treated through programs specifically designed to help you quit drinking.

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Alcohol addiction is a prevalent problem in the U.S. and can cause a multitude of health problems and other negative consequences. However, it can be hard to know if you or a loved one have an alcohol addiction.

By looking for specific signs and symptoms, you can determine whether or not alcohol abuse may be occurring.

How To Identify An Alcohol Addiction

When it comes to alcohol use disorder (AUD), there are many noticeable effects on several systems in the body.

More specifically, signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction can be observed through behavior, the state of someone’s mental health, and effects on physical health.

Behavioral Signs Of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction can change a lot about you. In fact, abusing the substance can even change your behavioral health.

Behavioral signs of alcohol abuse may include:

  • a change in drinking habits/heavy drinking
  • pulling away or isolating from friends and family
  • less interest in activities you usually participate in
  • irritability

If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone you suspect may be struggling with an addiction, it’s possible alcohol abuse is present.

Mental Symptoms Of Alcohol Addiction

In addition to behavioral changes, alcohol abuse can also alter your mental state, which can further encourage drinking.

Mental symptoms of alcohol addiction may include:

  • anxiety or depression when not drinking
  • hallucinations
  • confusion
  • memory loss
  • needing alcohol to get through the day
  • inability to stop thinking about alcohol

Though mental symptoms of alcoholism may be a bit harder to recognize in others, keeping an eye out for these signs in yourself can be beneficial.

Learn more about how alcohol affects your brain.

Physical Signs Of Alcohol Addiction

While behavioral and mental symptoms may help detect alcohol addiction, physical signs are arguably the most apparent.

Physical signs of alcohol dependence may include:

  • shakiness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • blackouts
  • fatigue
  • seizures
  • sweating
  • headaches
  • unusually high blood pressure
  • unexplained injuries
  • craving alcohol

Some of these signs are the short-term effects of alcohol, but many are in line with alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which may indicate addiction.

Risk Factors For Developing An Alcohol Addiction

Though common misconceptions may suggest otherwise, alcohol use disorder can affect anyone of any demographic.

However, there are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop an alcohol addiction.


Believe it or not, a tendency for alcohol addiction can actually be inherited. In other words, if someone in your immediate family struggles with alcohol abuse, it is likely that you could have inherited this tendency through genes.

Age And Gender

Likewise, variables such as gender and age can even put you at higher risk for alcohol addiction. Specifically, men and people between the ages of 18 to 24 are more likely to develop this disease.

Childhood Factors

On the other hand, the behavior that surrounds you during your adolescence can also increase your likelihood of abusing alcohol.

In other words, children whose parents abuse alcohol are much more prone to developing an addiction than those whose parents don’t.

History Of Alcohol Abuse

Another developmental factor that can influence your relationship with alcohol is when and how you start drinking.

People who start drinking at an early age or engage in binge drinking are more likely to struggle with alcohol dependence.

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Lastly, certain mental health disorders and health conditions can also be a risk factor.

For example, people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD, schizophrenia, or a lessened ability to metabolize alcohol can be prone to abusing alcohol to help manage their symptoms.

Treatment Programs For Alcohol Addiction

Though there are many negative side effects of alcohol addiction, it is possible to treat this disease and overcome your struggles.

Located in Canton, MA, Bedrock Recovery Center is a highly rated treatment center with a variety of addiction treatments.

Alcohol addiction treatment options are broken into three categories at Bedrock: including detoxification, inpatient programs, and medication-assisted treatment.

Detox and medication-assisted treatment can help you stop drinking alcohol and manage withdrawal symptoms, while inpatient programs can help you deal with the mental aspects of addiction.

Find Alcohol Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you notice these signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction in yourself, a family member, or someone you know, don’t hesitate to reach out through our helpline at Bedrock Recovery Center.

  1. Indian Health Service — Warning Signs of Substance and Alcohol Use Disorder https://www.ihs.gov/asap/familyfriends/warningsignsdrug/
  2. Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services — Warning Signs of Alcoholism https://www.tn.gov/behavioral-health/substance-abuse-services/prevention/warning-signs-of-alcoholism.html
  3. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) — Rethinking Drinking https://www.tn.gov/behavioral-health/substance-abuse-services/prevention/warning-signs-of-alcoholism.html
  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus — Alcohol Use Disorder https://medlineplus.gov/alcoholusedisorderaud.html#cat_95

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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