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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Guiles

Understanding the Telltale Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Updated: Feb 22, 2023



Alcohol addiction, also called alcoholism, is a serious health problem that can begin with casual and occasional drinking. While high tolerance and excessive drinking do not always indicate alcoholism, these can lead to dependency. Therefore, if you suspect that someone you care about has turned to alcohol as an escape, you must intervene and take action.


Recognizing and spotting warning signs can assist you in determining whether assistance and alcohol rehabilitation are required or urgent. Here are some of the most common indicators that someone is likely addicted to alcohol:

1. Losing Interest in Activities They Used To Enjoy

Alcohol addiction can make your loved one disinterested in almost every activity in which they used to find leisure. Once they get addicted to drinking, it becomes the center of their life; all their other interests will slowly fall behind. Moreover, relationships often get severely affected due to alcohol addiction. For instance, they may stop spending time with you and their other friends and family.

2. Making Excuses for Drinking

Addiction can lead someone to avoid taking responsibility for their excessive alcohol consumption. When asked, they may always have an excuse for why they are drinking or cannot abstain from them. They may even create social events involving drinking to justify their consumption of alcoholic beverages. Although this defensive behavior can be directed toward those around them, it can also take the form of self-denial.

3. Exhibiting Mood Swings and Behavioral Changes

Prolonged alcohol abuse can harm a person's behavior and mood. For example, people close to them may notice recklessness and aggression directly aimed at them. Thus, if your loved one exhibits drastic changes in their behavior or frequent mood swings, this could signify alcohol dependence.

4. Having Poor Decision-Making Skills

A person's decision-making ability is usually affected or impaired by alcohol addiction. Alcohol alters the chemistry of their brain, affecting their mental functions. This may result in reduced inhibitions while negatively affecting their judgment process. Furthermore, habitual drinking may impair their memory for an extended period. Therefore, if you start noticing that they constantly make poor or risky decisions, you may want to check their alcohol intake.

5. Prioritizing Alcohol Over Essential Responsibilities

Alcoholism is a serious problem that can have a profound influence on a person's life. As the addiction progresses, the person's priorities may shift. They may begin to prioritize drinking over obligations, duties, and personal hygiene, causing them to neglect these important aspects of their lives.


It is critical to keep an eye on your loved ones' disposition, especially if they start to overlook their responsibilities. Such behavior may indicate addictions, and it is crucial to address the problem as soon as possible.

6. Experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone develops an addiction to alcohol after drinking heavily for a long time, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop. Their bodies will adjust to the sudden change, especially if they have been heavily reliant on them for a long time. After a certain number of hours, you may notice the following symptoms:


  • 6 hours after their last drink: Mild symptoms may start, such as anxiety, shaky hands, headache, nausea, insomnia, and vomiting.

  • 12 to 48 hours after their last drink: More serious issues — such as hallucinations and seizures — can emerge during this period, particularly within the first two days after they stop.

  • 48 to 72 hours after their last drink: Delirium tremens (DTs) are more likely to occur during this timeframe. This is a severe condition characterized by vivid hallucinations and delusions.

Reach Out to Us at The Detox and Treatment Helpline

Alcoholism can be difficult to overcome on one's own. If you know someone who has become overly dependent on alcohol, you can always do something. One way to help them is to take the initiative by identifying telltale signs of addiction. This will allow both of you to take the next step toward alcohol rehabilitation.


Remember that you can always reach out and seek professional help from us at The Detox and Treatment Helpline. Help your friend or loved one talk to our experts at 800-586-8085 so that we can provide them with support and appropriate addiction treatment.



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