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Signs of an Alcoholic

signs of an alcoholic

The signs of heavy or regular drinking are obvious. Drinking large amounts of alcohol at parties, dinner, or after getting home from work may be the norm. But how do you know when your loved one has crossed the line from alcohol abuse to alcoholism? You may see the signs everywhere. Alcoholism infects the drinker’s life at every level. The social, physical, and emotional impact is hard to hide. If you are concerned that your loved one is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, contact us at Futures of Palm Beach and speak to an addiction counselor about your concerns.


Physical effects of alcoholism include:

  • Impaired Memory
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
  • Lesser Ability to Focus
  • Vision Changes
  • Anemia
  • Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy
  • Liver Damage
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bleeding Esophageal Varices
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Ataxia
  • Alcoholic Neuropathy
  • Chronic Gastritis

Behaviors that cause physical issues:

  • Accidents under the influence
  • Contraction of STDs
  • Physical or sexual assaults

Contributing factor of diseases:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • A number of cancers


Alcoholism changes the social patterns and behaviors of the drinker:

  • Stop attending family functions, choosing instead to drink
  • Drink alone or try to hide their drinking
  • Become physically aggressive towards others while under the influence
  • Make excuses for their drinking or deny that it’s an issue
  • Get arrested for behavior under the influence, being drunk in public, or driving while intoxicated
  • No longer prioritize their appearance or basic hygiene


Emotional signs of alcohol dependence are noticeable as well. Your loved one may:

  • Defensive when asked about how much or often they drink
  • Become agitated or irritable while drinking
  • Become depressed or experience worsened depression
  • Seem isolated and distant from loved ones


The bottom line for many people who are concerned about their loved one’s drinking behaviors is not whether or not they are dealing with alcohol abuse or addiction, but whether or not it’s time to seek treatment. In general, it is time to seek help when your loved one:

  • Cannot stop drinking even when it’s clear that it is hurting them and their family
  • Is unable to stop drinking for any length of time even if they want to or “need” to for a specific purpose
  • Must drink every day in order to “get by”
  • Continually drinks more and more in order to feel drunk
  • Often experiences a blackout or memory loss after a period of drinking
  • Experiences physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking

Alcoholism is a treatable disease, and here at Futures, we can help to find the signs of an alcoholic. Contact us today for more information about how we can provide your loved one with the treatment services necessary to help them stop drinking today.

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