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Signs of Problem Drinking

Individuals struggling with problem drinking may experience one or more of the following:

  • Tolerance (more is needed to get the same effect).
  • Decreasing academic performance as a result of drinking.
  • Negative social consequences as a result of drinking.
  • Lifestyle changes to accommodate use.
  • Choosing friends based on drinking behavior.
  • Drinking alone.
  • Rationalizing alcohol use to friends.
  • Not remembering things one did while intoxicated.
  • Desire to control, or unsuccessful efforts to control excessive drinking.
  • Getting angry when confronted about drinking.

Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence

Neglect of Activities—Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol use;

Excessive Use—Alcohol is consumed in larger amounts over a longer period than intended;

Impaired control—Ongoing, unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol consumption;

Persistence of Use—Alcohol consumption is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely caused or exacerbated by alcohol;

Alcohol Related Activities—A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain, use or recover from the effects of alcohol;

Withdrawal—Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking;

Tolerance—The need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to feel its effects.