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5 Signs You Have a Problem With Alcohol

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Medically Verified: 2/1/24

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

5 Signs You Have a Problem With Alcohol


Alcohol plays a lively and important role in society today. It is readily available in stores, easily accessible online, and is a staple at many parties, get-togethers, and events. As a socially acceptable substance, it may be difficult to determine whether or not your drinking is getting out of control. While signs of severe alcohol addiction are often easy to detect, some of the warning signs of alcohol abuse are more subtle. As a result, it can be difficult for people to recognize that their relationship with alcohol is unhealthy. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize this until they are addicted. 


Mild alcohol abuse often goes overlooked. However, the warning signs of alcohol abuse should not be ignored. After all, what may appear to be only a minor issue may get worse over time. Going to an alcohol rehab near you sooner than later can help prevent worsening alcohol abuse over time. Here are 5 warning signs that you have a problem with alcohol.


1. You frequently engage in binge drinking.

Binge drinking refers to a drinking pattern that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08 grams percent. This typically means 5 or more drinks for men and 4 or more drinks for women over the course of 2 hours.[1] Binge drinking is dangerous, as it can lead to risky behaviors and alcohol poisoning. However, when binge drinking becomes frequent, it can pose additional dangers. 


binge drinking

Do you plan your social events and obligations around binge drinking? Is binge drinking something that is happening on a regular basis? Do you rarely drink alcohol casually, or do you binge drink nearly every time you drink? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may have a problem with alcohol.


2. You drink alone.

Although drinking alone may seem insignificant, there is actually a huge difference between going out to drink with friends and drinking alone. Of course, some people will have a glass of wine before dinner if they had a stressful day. However, if you find that you are always drinking alone, it may signify an underlying emotional or psychological issue. 


There are a number of reasons why people may choose to drink alone. You may be self-medicating, feel embarrassed to drink, or feel like you have to hide your drinking patterns from others. Regardless of why you are drinking alone, it can be extremely unhealthy. It can indicate that you are beginning to develop a problem with alcohol.


3. You drink to cope with your emotions.

When drinking becomes your primary method of coping with unpleasant emotions, you should seek an alcohol rehab near you. Although drinking may numb your emotions effectively, this numbing won’t last. Instead, it usually ends up making problems even more unmanageable. 


Studies demonstrate that excessive alcohol consumption alters brain chemistry. As a result, the way the brain responds to stress begins to change. When you drink, the brain releases more stress hormones. As drinking continues, anxiety can become worse, making a person drink more and more. Furthermore, stress can actually decrease the pleasurable effects of alcohol, causing people to drink even more.[2]


4. You have to drink more than you use to in order to get drunk.

Think back to the first time you got drunk. It probably takes more alcohol now to get drunk than it did the first time. After all, drinking increasing amounts of alcohol increases the body’s tolerance over time. As a result, you may have to drink more alcohol over time to achieve the desired effects. Drinking more to keep up with tolerance increases the risk of addiction.


Unfortunately, as tolerance increases and a person begins to drink habitually, he or she can become physically dependent on alcohol. If you notice withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink, you may need help from an alcohol detox near you. 


5. You drink despite potential negative consequences.

Drinking in moderation is generally safe. However, drinking irresponsibly or without regard to potential consequences is problematic. For example, any of these behaviors indicate that you may have a problem with alcohol:

  • Drinking and driving
  • Getting drunk the night before a big exam, obligation, or work event
  • Drinking even though it is interfering with your personal relationships
  • Continuing to drink despite the worsening of a mental or physical health problem that was caused by drinking

People who have a healthy relationship with alcohol can stop drinking if need be. On the other hand, people who have a drinking problem may drink despite the consequences. 


Get Help From an Alcohol Rehab Near You

If you find it difficult to abstain from alcohol for more than a couple of days, you might have a drinking problem. In addition, if your drinking has started to interfere with your day-to-day life, it might be time to check into an alcohol rehab near you. Alcohol rehab in North Carolina will not only help you get sober, but we help you stay sober by getting to the root of the problem. 


What are you waiting for? Put an end to your drinking problem today.