Here Are 5 Early Signs of Alcohol Abuse To Look Out For


Alcohol abuse has many adverse effects on all aspects of a person’s life. It may destroy relationships, ruin their health, and lead to numerous social issues. It can even drive a person to commit suicide.

It may start as something minor. Things like leaving work early because one can no longer focus due to a hangover, or having friends and family make comments about them drinking too much.

If you are wondering how to spot if someone is addicted to alcohol, read on. Below are some of the early signs of alcohol abuse to watch out for. Let’s begin!

1. Habitual Drunkenness

Habitual drunkenness is a troubling reality of alcohol abuse. This form of abuse occurs when a person drinks with such regularity that they become dependent on the substance to function properly.

Additionally, it is both physically and mentally taxing and can have serious long-term effects on the individual and those around them. Some common signs of habitual drunkenness may include:

  • Inability to control alcohol intake
  • Needing larger quantities of alcohol to feel the effects
  • Aggression when not using alcohol
  • Obsession with the social ramifications associated with alcohol

Thus, habitual drunkenness is a dangerous downward spiral that can lead to severe and long-term consequences for those afflicted.

2. Irritability and Poor Impulse Control

People dealing with alcohol abuse are known for their quick temper and highly reactive personalities. This behavior leads to instability in relationships with friends, family, and colleagues. In addition, irritability pertains to the tendency to:

  • Inappropriately express anger
  • Responding to criticism
  • Behave impatiently
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When someone is abusing alcohol, they become irritable and have difficulty controlling their impulses and behaviors. They may also engage in dangerous activities without considered judgment.

Additionally, these factors can further weaken existing relationships and increase the risk of other alcohol use. Thus, it is vital to identify and address this symptom to help individuals break the cycle and start on the road to recovery.

3. Poor Performance at School or Work

Alcohol abuse can also affect job and school performance. People with alcohol problems may:

  • Miss work or school more often
  • Have more health problems
  • Be more forgetful 
  • Make mistakes with work or school activities

Additionally, individuals may be less able to handle workplace or school stress. Alcohol abuse can also lead to decreased concentration, lack of motivation, and change in attitude. This can negatively affect the quality of work and grades.

Further, due to alcohol abuse, people are more likely to be late for work or school, not attend, or if they do attend, be unproductive due to hangovers. This issue needs to be addressed as it can seriously damage an individual’s prospects in life.

4. Changes in Sleeping Habits

A consistent intake of alcohol can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. A person experiencing alcohol abuse may experience longer and poorer quality sleep.

They may get a dependence on alcohol as a form of self-medicating that results in difficulty sleeping without it. Moreover, sleep deprivation can compromise the body’s ability to recover from the adverse effects of the alcohol consumed.

Additionally, chronic alcohol abuse can also serve to increase stress levels, leading to apnea, nightmares, and night terrors. If a person is not getting enough restful sleep, they should seek help right away to break the cycle of addiction.

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5. Mood Swings

Mood swings in alcohol abuse can be very severe in frequency and intensity. Alcohol is a potent and fast-acting depressant, so its effects on mood can be felt quickly.

People who are alcohol-dependent create erratic and often unpredictable behaviors. Furthermore, long-term alcohol abuse causes imbalances in the brain that result in these intense mood swings.

Treating underlying alcohol abuse will help an individual regain control over their actions and feelings.

Loss of Interest in Previously Pleasurable Activities

Another common early sign is a decreased interest in activities that were once pleasurable. Individuals may find themselves avoiding or forgetting to engage in tasks they once enjoyed.

This can be a result of changes in brain chemicals that occur when alcohol is consumed, leading to decreased motivation to take part in activities. Furthermore, those who once found solace in social situations may begin to withdraw due to decreased confidence.
The individual may also feel shame about their alcohol use and how it has changed their lives.

All About Family Dynamics

Children of parents with an alcohol abuse disorder often feel frustrated, helpless, and isolated. They experience higher levels of conflict, lower levels of warmth and closeness, and a lack of problem-solving skills within the family.

Alcohol abuse within a family can create anxiety and depression in children. They feel they must take on parental responsibilities while living in an unsafe, unpredictable environment.

Children may also attempt to cope with the chaos by distancing themselves to control their environment. With the right kind of help and understanding, a family affected by alcohol abuse can heal and develop healthy coping strategies. 

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The Role of an Alcohol Counselor 

Professional help can come from a variety of sources like counselors, psychiatrists, and social workers. Seeking professional help provides valuable tips, advice, and counseling to manage and improve a person’s alcohol abuse.

They can also offer different forms of treatment and therapy to better address the person’s needs. An alcohol counselor specializes in helping alcoholics manage their addiction and offers personalized treatment plans.

To become an alcohol counselor, one must get the necessary education and training. If you’re willing to work with people from all walks of life, learn more from these tips for becoming alcohol counselor today!

A Guide to the Early Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Early signs of alcohol abuse may be hard to spot. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of addiction, as quick intervention can have an enormous impact on someone’s health.

If you or someone you know is showing these signs, seek help and support. Together, we can make a difference.

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