Last updated: September 25, 2023
Alcohol abuse continues to be a growing problem in the world today, with the number of individuals suffering from alcohol abuse increasing every year.
What’s also increasing every year is the number of children who are abusing alcohol. Alcohol abuse is different from both alcoholism and alcohol addiction. A key factor to fixing alcohol abuse before it turns to addiction is knowing what to look for if you suspect alcohol abuse. Here are some signs of alcohol abuse.
- Causing the individual to neglect responsibilities – If the individual is repeatedly allowing the drinking to interfere in his or her responsibilities, this could be a sign of alcohol abuse. Examples would be poor performances at school or on the job, neglecting daily duties or dismissing social appointments because of being hung over.
- Drinking in dangerous situations – Many people drink socially in a public establishment or at social functions but know when to avoid alcohol. An indication of possible alcohol abuse might be if the individual continues to drink in dangerous situations such as while driving, while operating dangerous equipment or while taking medication.
- Refusing to acknowledge it’s a problem – Although people who are addicted to alcohol may refuse to quick drinking because they have a dependence on alcohol, an individual who refuses to quit drinking because he or she doesn’t see it as a problem may very well be experiencing alcohol abuse.
- Drinking is causing legal problems – Individuals who have received DUIs or other citations due to drinking-related issues may be abusing alcohol. Other examples might be charges of disorderly conduct or domestic abuse due to alcohol-related incidents.
- Refusal to quit despite relationship problems – People who are suffering from alcohol abuse often refuse to quit drinking even though they are having relationship problems that their friends or family members feel are caused by the drinking.
- Using alcohol as a crutch – Many alcohol abusers drink to help them get through stressful situations or to get instant courage. They even feel that the alcohol makes them perform or talk more comfortably around others.
- Avoiding normal routines because of drinking – Another sign of alcohol abuse is giving up activities that are a normal part of the individual’s routine just to go out drinking.
- Skipping required medications – Some drinkers may follow the “don’t mix alcohol with medication” rule but eliminate taking the necessary medication rather than eliminating the alcohol. This is a real sign of alcohol abuse.
- Increase in inappropriate emotions – Individuals who are abusing alcohol may show anger or other unusually aggressive emotions, particularly unprovoked and in inappropriate situations.
- Inability to slow down drinking – Although many people still drink socially and responsibly, someone who is suffering from alcohol abuse may have difficulty stopping drinking once they start and often don’t stop drinking until they’re drunk.
- Feel the need to drink more alcohol to get the desired effects – Many people who drink state that they do so to relax them or give them courage in difficult situations. Alcohol abusers often feel the need to drink more than usual just to get the effect they desire.
- Looking forward to drinking – Individuals who look forward to drinking and anticipate the time when they can go drinking either alone or with friends are generally abusing alcohol. This is a sign that the individual should take his or her drinking more seriously and consider stopping.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above signs or a combination, this should definitely be cause for concern. One of the first and most important steps is acknowledging that there may be alcohol abuse.