Signs of alcohol abuse
- You have problems at work or school because
of your drinking, such as being late or not going at all.
drink in risky situations, such as before or while driving a
- After drinking, you can't remember what happened while you were drinking (blackouts).
have legal problems because of your drinking, such as being arrested for
harming someone or driving while drunk (intoxicated).
- You get hurt or you hurt
someone else when you are drinking.
- You keep drinking even though you have health problems that are caused or made worse by alcohol use, such as liver
- Your friends or family members
are worried about your drinking.
Signs of alcohol dependence or addiction
- You cannot quit drinking or control how much
- You need to drink more to get the same
- You have
withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. These
include feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.
- You spend a lot of time drinking and recovering.
- You have given up other activities so you can drink.
- You keep drinking even though it harms your relationships and
causes health problems.
Other signs include:
- You drink in the morning, are often drunk for long periods of
time, or drink alone.
- You change what you drink, such as switching
from beer to wine because you think that doing this will help you drink less or
keep you from getting drunk.
- You feel guilty after drinking.
- You make excuses for your drinking or do things to hide your
drinking, such as buying alcohol at different stores.
- You worry
that you won't get enough alcohol for an evening or weekend.
- You have
physical signs of alcohol dependence, such as weight
loss, a sore or upset stomach (gastritis), or redness of the nose and
Signs of alcohol
problems in children and teens can be different from the ones for adults. For
more information, see the topic
Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Do you have a drinking problem?
You might not realize that you have a
drinking problem. You might not drink large amounts
when you drink. Or you might go for days or weeks between drinking episodes. But even if you don't drink
very often, it's still possible to be
abusing alcohol and to be at risk for becoming
addicted to it.
Interactive Tool: Do You Have a Drinking Problem?