Warning Signs

What are the signs of problem alcohol use?

caring handsIf you or someone you know exhibits any of the warning signs below, you or they may have developed a problem with the use of alcohol.

  • Smell of alcohol on the breath, slurred speech, lack of coordination, nausea or vomiting, hangovers

  • Memory loss or blackouts

  • Accidents or injuries while drinking

  • Drinking  even though there are physical conditions that can be worsened by drinking

  • Alcohol use interferes with work, school or other activities

  • Alcohol use despite knowing he or she will be driving, boating or doing something else that would be risky if impaired

Problems with alcohol use can progress into addiction; the warning signs of an addiction are below:

  • A person cannot control how much they drink

  • A person needs more alcohol to create a "buzz"

  • A person may feel sick, shaky or restless when alcohol use is ceased, indicating withdrawal

  • Even though there is harm to family, friends, education or career, the person still drinks

  • A person gives up other activities they enjoy so they can drink

  • A person tries to conceal their drinking and makes excuses

  • A person would like to quit drinking but despite repeated attempts, still drinks

  • Alcohol becomes a focal point in their life

Substance use disorders develop when the brain is exposed to an amount of a drug, in this case alcohol, that causes structural and chemical changes to occur in the brain. The reason some are more affected by a certain amount of alcohol while others are less affected is unknown. What we do know: an undefined amount of alcohol can cause changes in the brain, meaning that depending upon the factors above, there is no way to know how much alcohol may cause the development of an addiction in any one person and it is different for different people.The structural and chemical changes that occur in the brain cause the pleasure-seeking part of the brain to override the rest. This is why people with an alcohol use disorder feel compelled to use more, even if it causes harm.

If you'd like more information or would like to talk about your concerns, support and assistance is available through Live Chat, by calling (855) 581-8111or by texting (855) 895-8398.


Alcohol Use Contact Form

If you have a question, would like more information, or have another concern, please complete the form below. Please note that the form submissions are not monitored 24/7. IMPORTANT: If you need immediate assistance, support is available through Live Chat, by calling (855) 581-8111, or texting (855) 895-8398.

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