How to Identify Warning Signs of Alcoholism

by Gwynita Leggington
Alcohol abuse can cause detachment from the marriage and family.

Alcohol abuse can cause detachment from the marriage and family.

Alcoholism is a serious illness that affects many people in this world. The term alcoholism refers to an uncontrollable need for alcohol that involves compulsive drinking on a regular basis. Alcoholics constantly find themselves drinking greater amounts of alcohol in order to satisfy their dependency. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can damage important organs in the body, such as the brain and liver. That is why it is important to know how to determine if someone is suffering from alcoholism. There are a few things that you can do to identify warning signs of alcoholism.

Determine if the person’s drinking habits have changed. Think about the last few times that you were around him and decide if he is consuming more alcoholic drinks than usual. Also, try to remember if he’s drinking at unusual hours of the day (such as first thing in the morning when he wakes up) or if he has strong cravings to drink at certain times of the day.

Verify whether or not there are any major changes in his appearance or personal life. Alcoholism affects a person’s behavior which can cause problems in that person’s home, at work or in his social life. For example, alcoholics may stop practicing proper hygiene and fail to care for their outer appearance, lose their job from drinking too much, withdraw from social activities or destroy friendships with close friends.

Check to see if the person can remember things such as conversations, commitments or appointments. Alcoholics normally have a difficult time remembering important things such as doctor's appointments or scheduled meetings at work.

Look for any changes in his health status. Due to their physical dependence on alcohol, it is common for alcoholics to experience sweating, nausea, anxiety and shakiness when they try to stop drinking. They may also develop certain illnesses such as liver disease, cancer or digestive disorders.

Confirm any changes in the person’s eating habits. For example, decide if the person is demonstrating poor eating habits or eating less food. Alcoholism normally affects a person’s appetite and he may replace meals with alcoholic drinks or start eating a lot of unhealthy food.

Decide if the person constantly makes excuses to drink. For example, he may use alcohol to help cope with emotional pain or a problem that he is dealing with at work. He may also turn to alcohol to help deal with stress or fear.

About the Author

Gwynita Leggington has written and published articles since 2006. Her areas of expertise include health and wellness, education, careers, personal finance and dating. Leggington's work appears on eHow.com, Answerbag.com and Essortment.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a Master of Arts in counseling from Prairie View A&M University.

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