14 Warning Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder You Shouldn’t Ignore


Have you ever planned to have just one drink but ended up having several? This is a common sign of alcohol use disorder. If you frequently drink more than you intended, it might be time to evaluate your drinking habits.

1. Unsuccessful Attempts to Cut Down

Trying to cut back on drinking but finding it difficult? Many people with alcohol use disorder struggle to reduce their intake, even when they recognize the need to do so. If you’ve tried and failed, seeking professional help could be the next step.

2. Spending a Lot of Time Drinking

If a significant amount of your time is spent drinking or recovering from drinking, this is a red flag. Think about how much time alcohol is taking up in your life. Is it more than it should be?

3. Cravings for Alcohol

Do you often feel a strong urge to drink? Cravings are a clear indicator of alcohol use disorder. These intense desires can make it hard to focus on anything else until you satisfy them.

4. Neglecting Responsibilities

Ignoring important duties at work, school, or home because of drinking is a serious sign. If alcohol is causing you to neglect your responsibilities, it’s time to take a closer look at your drinking habits.

5. Continued Drinking Despite Problems

Continuing to drink even when it’s causing problems in your relationships, health, or job is a major warning sign. If you notice that alcohol is creating issues but you keep drinking anyway, it’s a cause for concern.

6. Giving Up Activities

Have you stopped doing things you once enjoyed because of drinking? Losing interest in hobbies, sports, or social activities in favor of drinking is a significant sign of alcohol use disorder.

7. Drinking in Dangerous Situations

Drinking in situations where it’s physically hazardous, like driving or operating machinery, is a serious sign. This behavior not only puts you at risk but also endangers others.

8. Tolerance to Alcohol

Needing to drink more to achieve the same effect is known as tolerance. If you find that you need more alcohol to feel its effects, this is a strong indicator of alcohol use disorder.

9. Withdrawal Symptoms

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you’re not drinking is a clear sign of dependence. Symptoms like shaking, sweating, nausea, or anxiety indicate that your body has become dependent on alcohol.

10. Drinking to Avoid Withdrawal

Some people drink to avoid withdrawal symptoms. If you find yourself drinking to keep these symptoms at bay, it’s a sign that your body has become dependent on alcohol.

11. Memory Blackouts

Do you often forget what happened while you were drinking? Frequent memory blackouts are a serious sign of alcohol use disorder. These gaps in memory can be alarming and dangerous.

12. Changes in Mood and Behavior

Alcohol can cause significant changes in mood and behavior. If you or someone you know becomes aggressive, depressed, or anxious when drinking, this could indicate a problem.

13. Isolation from Friends and Family

Withdrawing from friends and family to drink alone is a major red flag. Isolation can exacerbate the problem and make it harder to seek help.

14. Denial of the Problem

Denial is a common defense mechanism. If you find yourself or a loved one denying there’s a problem despite clear signs, it’s important to address this denial and consider seeking help.

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