What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse?

The symptoms of alcohol abuse usually become most noticeable when they begin to interfere with an individual's life. He or she may find that he begins missing work, getting in legal trouble, neglecting responsibilities at home, or causing trouble in personal relationships. In addition, another one of the most common symptoms of alcohol abuse is an inability to cut back on drinking, or to have "just one" drink in any given situation, despite the best of intentions.

Symptoms of alcohol abuse may not always be obvious to the person with a drinking problem, but may instead become obvious to the other people in the individual's life. Often, friends or family members might begin to comment on someone's drinking habits, stating that they wish he or she would stop or cut back on the alcohol, or that they are concerned about her health. Someone with a drinking problem might continue to go out and get drunk even knowing that it could cause a fight with friends or family, and potentially cause lasting damage to relationships.

People may begin to notice symptoms of alcohol abuse in themselves as well. They might feel that despite their best intentions, they can never just have one drink or cut back on their drinking in general; they may start to feel ashamed of the amount they drink, and begin hiding the fact that they are continuing to drink. In addition, some people with a drinking problem will find that they need to have a few drinks at the end of the day to relax, or in the morning to combat a hangover.

Over time, an individual's tolerance for alcohol will get higher, and they will need to drink in increasing amounts. He or she might begin to drink until they black out, or experience vomiting or even alcohol poisoning. Another one of the most noticeable symptoms of alcohol abuse is that people begin to have trouble functioning in daily life without alcohol. They may feel shaky, anxious, depressed, or irritable unless they can have a drink.

Legal problems or unsafe behavior are some of the other symptoms of alcohol abuse. Getting arrested for driving while intoxicated, for example, is one example. Someone with an alcohol problem might also behave unsafely while using machinery at work. These are a few of the most common symptoms of alcohol abuse; if an individual suspects that he or she has a drinking problem, it is important to see a doctor and discuss options for getting help.


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