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How to recognise the signs of Alcoholism

Posted on :  April 14th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The first step for recovering addicts is recognising the problem, after which they’re in a position to seek help in overcoming their addiction.

How, though, do you tell the difference between a dependence that can be beaten on its own, and a debilitating compulsion to drink alcohol?

Either way, seeking help is always a good idea, but it can be useful to recognise the symptoms, if not for yourself, then for others.


The first question you must ask yourself (or, ask yourself of another person) is ‘do I have a high alcohol tolerance?’ If you’re not sure then consider the following:

  • Is my alcohol tolerance higher than that of the people I drink with?
  • Do I require more alcohol than I used to?
  • Can I drink substantially more than my peers without feeling the effects?

If your answers are all ‘yes’, then you may have a considerably higher alcohol tolerance than others. This may not be a problem in and of itself, but it can’t point to future problems if left unexamined.

Easing Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcoholism becomes a major problem when the addiction becomes strictly physical, rather than only psychological. Is there some sense in which you drink to avoid unpleasant physiological symptoms? Do you suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms? These include, but are not limited to:

  • Nausea
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sweating

Other signs

Beyond physical symptoms, and the build up of a high alcohol tolerance, an addiction or dependence on alcohol can manifest itself in other ways.

Watch out for these warning flags:

  • A lack of self-control: Do you attempt to reign in your drinking on a regular basis, and fail to control yourself? For example, if you go out and promise yourself two beers only, will you be able to keep that promise?
  • An inability to curb your drinking: If you’re aware that your drinking may be a problem, but seem to lack the tools to adequately cut down, you may be in danger of suffering from alcohol dependence.
  • Other activities have taken a backseat to make room for alcohol
  • Your social time revolves around drinking: How many social engagements do you attend without alcohol making an appearance? How much of your time do you spend thinking about or recovering from alcohol use?
  • You drink despite being aware of the negative effects: If you recognise that alcohol could be making other aspects of your life that bit worse, but remain incapable of stopping yourself from using it, you could be suffering from alcohol addiction.

If these signs and symptoms look familiar, then you may have alcohol dependence. Don’t hesitate to contact Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 if you live in Hamilton or the surrounding area.


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  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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