Alcoholism Symptoms


Alcoholism is a complex and often dangerous disease with devastating, sometimes deadly, consequences. What starts for many as casual or “social” drinking, can lead to more dangerous and addictive behaviors. It is important for parents, caretakers, friends, and loved ones of an individual with an alcohol problem to recognize the symptoms of alcoholism. If immediate action is taken, alcoholism can be treated and even cured with the help of family, doctors, therapists and other intervention programs. Some of the more common alcoholism symptoms to look for are:

  • The individual tends to drink alcohol when they are alone or hides when they drink to keep it a secret. Since drinking alcohol is often a social event, they drink at parties and with groups as well.
  • Legal, financial, and relationship problems can be signs or symptoms of alcoholism. Because alcoholism blurs one’s thinking and judgment, it often affects these crucial areas in one’s life. Employment and education are also negatively affected when one’s life and focus are influenced by alcoholism.
  • Many alcoholics express their desire to quit, but physically they are unable to do so. They become so addicted that their body becomes sick and goes through withdrawal symptoms if alcohol is not consumed, as stated in the next topic.
  • Experiencing dramatic withdrawal symptoms if one doesn’t drink alcohol. These symptoms include vomiting, nausea, shakiness, cold sweat, fever, and losing consciousness. These withdrawal symptoms become so severe because the body becomes dependent on the chemicals found in alcohol. The body therefore thinks it actually needs the chemicals in the alcohol to feel that it can function properly.
  • As individuals become addicted to alcohol, they often lose interest in hobbies or activities that use to be a regular part of their lives. Since such pastimes are relaxing and enjoyable to most individuals, it becomes alarming when there is little or no interest in these activities anymore. Severe alcohol addiction can literally take over every aspect in an individual’s life.
  • Physical symptoms that result from alcohol are red, blood-shot eyes; a swollen, puffy face; numbness in the legs or arms; and even swelling of the liver.
  • Drinking alcohol at unexpected places, such as work, in the car, or at school demonstrates the severe addiction an individual can have. As alcoholism addiction gets worse, the need to calm the side effects that come with the addiction increases, causing individuals to drink alcohol any time or any place, no matter the consequences.

These are just a few of the more common symptoms of alcoholism. Because alcohol can have different effects on different individuals, it is important to educate oneself and talk to doctors or specialists who can give insight and help in identifying all of the various alcoholism symptoms.