There are various signs and symptoms of a drinking problem. Some are easy to recognize, while others are more subtle. In addition, the severity of a person’s drinking problem can make the warning signs more obvious. However, mild alcohol abuse, or high-functioning alcoholics, are often overlooked. Unfortunately, what seems to be minor issues become worse over time. This is why it is so important to seek treatment from a professional alcohol addiction treatment center as soon as possible.

Chronic drinking can not only have detrimental effects on a person’s health and well-being, but it can affect the lives of everyone around them as well. The longer a person abuses alcohol, the more difficult it becomes to stop. The withdrawals, cravings, and consequences get worse and worse. Therefore, figuring out whether or not you have a problem with alcohol and seeking treatment, including alcohol detox, are two of the most important things you can do. For more information about alcohol abuse treatment, reach out to Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge at 844.442.8673.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, can spiral out of control if left untreated. Alcohol use disorder can be diagnosed when an individual experiences two or more symptoms outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V). Alcohol use disorders can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the number of symptoms a person experiences over the course of a year.[1]

Experts estimate that nearly 15.1 million adults have an alcohol use disorder.[2] Furthermore, there are many tell-tale signs that a person has a drinking problem. Here are five easily recognizable signs that indicate that you or a loved one have a problem with alcohol.

1. Isolating from Friends and Family

Isolation is a common symptom of all drug and alcohol addictions for a variety of reasons. For example, people who have a problem with alcohol often try to hide their drinking from their loved ones. They may feel shame and guilt regarding their alcohol abuse. Also, some people may feel more comfortable drinking alone, so that nobody can tell them not to drink. Alcoholism can cause people to neglect their responsibilities and have trouble with relationships. As a result, isolation is a common warning sign that a person has a problem with alcohol.

2. Tolerance, Dependence, and Withdrawal

Tolerance occurs when a person has to drink more than they used to to get drunk. As tolerance increases, people consume larger quantities and drink more often. Then, they can become physically dependent on alcohol. When a person develops a physical alcohol dependence, they will experience withdrawal symptoms when they do not drink. Alcohol withdrawal can be so painful and unpleasant that many people will continue to drink to avoid withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms often include cravings or intense urges to drink.

3. Inability to Stop Drinking Once You Start

People who are casual drinkers can have a beer or glass of wine, then call it a night. Alcoholics, on the other hand, cannot stop drinking once they start. Even if they intend only to have one or two drinks, people with alcoholism often lose control over their drinking. A person may continue to drink until they blackout or fall asleep. In addition, people with alcoholism may have difficulty with not drinking. They may continue drinking even when they don’t want to. It can be nearly impossible for alcoholics to quit drinking on their own. Consequently, these people have a dire need for an alcohol rehab program near them.

4. Drinking to Cope With Emotions

Whether it is depression, stress, anxiety, or unresolved trauma, using substances to cope with emotions is a common sign of addiction or alcoholism. However, the relief that comes from drinking is temporary. Drinking to cope with emotions usually makes things worse in the long run. People who have a problem with alcohol may believe that the only way to cope is to begin drinking. Using alcohol as a crutch is a universal sign of alcoholism.

5. Drinking Despite Consequences

People who have a problem with alcohol often continue drinking despite adverse consequences. For example, multiple DUIs, legal issues, marital issues, or work problems may not be enough to make a person stop drinking. On the other hand, individuals may want to stop and find themselves unable to. In severe cases, even voices of authority or medical professionals telling someone that they need to stop drinking won’t be enough to make them stop. Many people see this as insanity. However, it is simply the baffling feature of the disease of alcoholism.

Finding Help from Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge

Concluding that you have a problem with alcohol can be scary. However, admitting that you aren’t a casual drinker is the first step towards recovery. The sooner you acknowledge you have a problem, the sooner you can find help. A Pennsylvania Alcohol Rehab Center can help you reach lasting recovery through our addiction treatment programs and the best alcohol detox PA has to offer

For most, overcoming alcoholism requires treatment from a faith-based alcohol treatment center near you. Enrolling in an alcohol treatment program at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge will help you attain long-term sobriety. Our alcohol rehab can guide you through the recovery process and help you achieve your goals. Contact Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today at 844.442.8673 to learn more about the treatment options available.


Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge This article is written by the experts at Adult and Teen Challenge PA, a faith-based treatment program that began  in 1962 as a way to help those young people and adults who struggle with addiction get the help they need.