Alcohol Abuse Signs to Watch For

It can be tough to know when to say enough is enough if you fear that a loved one may have a problem with alcohol abuse or addiction. Many people use alcohol to cut loose and have fun from time to time. Sometimes it can lead to unintended negative consequences, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they need professional help.

If you feel that a loved one need professional help for alcohol abuse without being certain if they have a problem, they might become hurt or angry, leading them to cutting you out of their life or becoming more secretive to avoid making you worry or having you “overreact.” Before confronting someone and insisting that they need treatment, look for common alcohol abuse signs. This way, you can go into the conversation reasonably sure of yourself; moreover, you’ll have specific issues to point to if your loved one tries to deny the problem.

Common Alcohol Abuse Signs

Someone doesn’t have to be a full-blown alcoholic to be abusing alcohol. In fact, many of us may have abused alcohol at one time or another by drinking too much at parties or clubs. It becomes a problem, though, when you can start to see a pattern of abuse in someone’s behaviors and when their drinking is negatively impacting their lives. Here are some common alcohol abuse signs that may be indicators that your loved one needs to seek out treatment.


Drinking dangerously

This behavior includes things like taking prescription drugs while drinking, operating machinery when you’re drunk, and getting behind the wheel of a car when you’re over the legal limit.

Getting in trouble with the law

If your loved one has been cited for public intoxication, urination, disorderly conduct, or been charged with a DUI, there’s a good chance that they need help to control themselves.

De-stressing by getting drunk

This is one of the hardest alcohol abuse signs to recognize because many of us have had a drink as a way to unwind after a long day at work. But if your loved one continually uses alcohol to relieve stress, frequently drinking to the point of drunkenness, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

Ignoring health problems

Another big red flag is someone who has health problems related to alcohol, yet continues to drink and make the problems worse. Most people know that alcohol can cause cirrhosis (liver disease), but it goes beyond that. Chronic heavy drinkers may develop high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, seizures, and more. And because significant alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system, it also leaves you open to all kinds of infections.

These are just a few of the most common alcohol abuse signs you might notice, so keep an eye out for them and make sure to have specifics ready to talk about before speaking with your loved one about getting treatment.

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