Those who are dedicated to alcohol addiction treatments note that alcoholism symptoms can be best classified into two categories: behaviors and physical markers. Behaviors relate to a wide spectrum of actions and practices: drinking alone; drinking more and more in an effort to continue to experience the effects of alcohol (which can be best described as building up a “tolerance”); becoming violent or hostile when asked about drinking; neglecting one’s diet or personal hygiene; continually missing or underperforming at work and at school; being unable to control how much one drinks; and continuing the spiral of over-drinking despite problems that may develop in one’s social life or after developing fiscal or legal problems.
Physically, symptoms of alcoholism may involve intense and often uncontrollable cravings for alcohol, tremors early in the day after a night of drinking; lapses in memory after alcohol consumption; and serious illnesses such as alcoholic ketoacidosis—which manifest itself in severe dehydration—and cirrhosis, more typically known as a scarring of the liver. Other physical attributes of alcohol abuse and addiction can be weight loss, a persistent sore or upset stomach, and a redness of the nose and cheeks.
Additionally, those suffering from the disease of alcoholism may experience episodes of alcohol poisoning, symptoms of which can include but aren’t limited to: profound confusion, vomiting and seizures, slowed and irregular breathing, low body temperature, and becoming unconscious to the point where one cannot be awakened.
There are myriad other factors that may lead to a realization and diagnosis of alcoholism, such as feelings of guilt or shame about one’s drinking, lying to others or hiding your drinking habits, having family members or friends express concerns about your drinking and needing to drink to relax or fall asleep. Additionally, many people who have a problem with alcohol addiction find themselves consuming alcohol in the mornings and giving up once-enjoyed activities or hobbies in favor of drinking.
Other symptoms of alcoholism can be much more discreet but should nonetheless be taken seriously. Changing what one drinks: switching from beer to wine for instance—with the belief that doing so will enable you to drink less or prevent you from getting drunk—is a commonly reported action, as is making excuses for the amount of alcohol you consume by purchasing it from different stores. Likewise, worrying about whether you’ll have enough alcohol on hand for a night or weekend is one behavior that should certainly by seen as a warning sign of alcohol abuse or addiction.