Alcoholism: 7 Signs to Be Aware of

Alcoholism: 7 Signs to Be Aware of

Seven Signs of Alcoholism

It can be hard to watch a loved one lose themselves to an addiction. Making an assumption as bold as titling someone an alcoholic means there is a problem. Most likely the person you once knew seems different, but you are not sure exactly how. This step by step guide will give you answers by exploring the seven signs of alcoholism,  shedding light on the behaviors and patterns that may indicate a problem.

While alcohol is a widely consumed beverage in many cultures, excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can lead to addiction and detrimental effects on physical and mental health. Recognizing the seven signs of alcoholism is crucial in helping individuals seek the necessary support and make positive changes in their lives.

1. Hiding or Lying About Drinking

One of the first of the seven signs of alcoholism is the tendency to hide or lie about one's drinking habits. Individuals with alcohol addiction may go to great lengths to conceal their consumption, even from their closest friends and family. This secretive behavior suggests a sense of guilt or shame associated with their drinking. If you or someone you know frequently engages in sneaky or deceptive behavior to hide alcohol use, it may be a cause for concern.

2. Drinking Alone

Another red flag for alcoholism is the practice of drinking alone. Some individuals turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism for anxiety, depression, stress, or past trauma. Drinking alone allows them to self-medicate without others being aware of their struggles. This behavior often indicates underlying emotional issues that the individual may be avoiding or unwilling to confront.

3. Drinking First Thing in the Morning

A significant sign of psychological dependency on alcohol is the compulsion to drink first thing in the morning. This behavior indicates that the individual relies on alcohol to function and stave off withdrawal symptoms. Morning drinking can lead to a day-long pattern of excessive alcohol consumption, impairing judgment and increasing the risk of impulsive behavior. Moreover, it can have severe consequences on liver health.

4. Making Excuses for Drinking or Being Defensive

Individuals with alcohol addiction often make excuses for their drinking or become defensive when confronted about their behavior. This defensive stance is a common defense mechanism known as denial. They may downplay the severity of their problem or rationalize their drinking by claiming it helps them relax or sleep better. Acknowledging the problem is the first step towards recovery, and overcoming denial is crucial in initiating positive change.

5. Neglecting Responsibilities

Alcohol addiction can significantly impact an individual's ability to fulfill their responsibilities at work, home, or school. The person may start missing deadlines, arriving late, or performing poorly due to the effects of alcohol. Neglecting responsibilities can have far-reaching consequences, jeopardizing job security, academic success, and personal relationships. If alcohol begins to take precedence over essential obligations, seeking help is essential.

6. Increased Alcohol Tolerance

Developing a high tolerance for alcohol is a common occurrence among individuals with alcohol addiction. Regular heavy drinkers often find that they need to consume larger quantities of alcohol to achieve the desired effect. This increased tolerance is a sign of physical dependence and can lead to a dangerous cycle of escalating alcohol consumption.

7. Trying to Reduce or Stop Drinking, and Failing to Do So

A strong desire to reduce or quit drinking combined with unsuccessful attempts to do so is a clear indication of alcohol addiction. Individuals who genuinely want to regain control over their alcohol consumption but find themselves unable to do so may benefit from professional help. Seeking support from addiction specialists can provide the necessary tools and strategies to overcome alcohol addiction.

It is important to remember that alcoholism is a treatable condition, and there is hope for recovery. If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these seven signs of alcoholism, it is crucial to seek professional help as early as possible. Professional treatment programs, such as therapy, counseling, and support groups, can provide the necessary guidance and support on the path to recovery.


The Seven Signs of Alcoholism Recognized

Recognizing the seven signs of alcoholism is the first step towards addressing the problem and seeking the necessary help. The signs mentioned in this article, including hiding or lying about drinking, drinking alone, and neglecting responsibilities, are crucial indicators that should not be ignored. By reaching out and seeking support, individuals can take control of their lives and embark on a journey towards a healthier, alcohol-free future.


National Institutes of Health- Alcohol Dependence and Marital Dissolution

ARAG Legal- The Link Between Alcoholism and Divorce

O’Connor Family Law- Divorcing and Alcoholic: What You Need to Know

The smarter way to stay accountable
Real-time group support and personalized feedback to help you overcome addiction — no matter how many times you’ve tried.
Learn Morean iphone with the text identify where boundaries may have slipped

Find Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment in the Relay Program for Alcohol Addiction

There is help available to you if you or a loved one has a physical dependence or psychological dependence on alcohol. These urges and compulsive behaviors can control your life, but you can take back control. Relay's addiction recovery program provides a comprehensive, outpatient approach to behavioral change - at home, at your own pace. To each new program member, we provide a personalized recovery plan, a peer support group, progress tracking, journaling, and intelligent insights about your behavior patterns, all within a simple and secure mobile app Our proven approach helps program members achieve the best chance at long-term recovery without the time or expense of rehab or therapy. Try the Relay program for free here; if you need help as you get set up, contact us now at

relay logo

Get connected and stay accountable
with peers

Join a team

A better way to recovery, right in your pocket.

a cell phone with a text message on the screen