Understanding the signs of alcohol abuse

Understanding the signs of abuse and getting early treatment will go a long way in overcoming addiction.

Alcohol is the most widely used addictive substance in the United States. Thanks to the promotion of alcohol in the media, online and on entertainment scenes, alcohol abuse has become a major problem across the country.

Alcohol abuse becomes more serious as a person becomes addicted to it. Some side effects of alcohol abuse include slurred speech, memory loss, blackouts, coma, breathing problems, and even death. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 40% of alcohol-related deaths in the United States are due to heavy drinking, a major sign of alcohol abuse.

Understanding the signs of alcohol abuse in yourself or a loved one can go a long way toward treating the problem. Here are some of the signs of alcohol abuse and how to deal with the problem before it becomes a life-threatening problem.

Alcohol abuse vs alcoholism

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism refer to harmful drinking habits, but they differ in several ways. Some of the key differences between alcohol abuse and alcoholism include dependence, severity, and signs of abuse. Understanding these differences can help decide on an appropriate treatment plan.


Not everyone who chooses to drink alcohol becomes addicted. However, those who become dependent on alcohol are more susceptible to alcoholism. Addiction is a person’s physical dependence on alcohol. People who become addicted to alcohol experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, strong urge to drink, insomnia and sweating.


Alcohol abuse is a milder form of the larger problem of alcohol use disorders. A person who does not seek treatment is at higher risk of developing a serious alcohol problem, leading to dependence, dependence and higher tolerance. A person who has developed an alcohol addiction will have a higher tolerance, which will lead to more alcohol consumption. This can lead to health issues such as heart disease, weight gain, and respiratory problems.


People who drink alcohol occasionally will probably not feel as addicted as an alcoholic. This results in different physical signs of alcohol consumption. In addition to addiction with someone suffering from alcoholism, the main signs include the craving for alcohol, the inability to control alcohol consumption, and the inability to continue drinking despite having negative mental and physical health problems.

Health effects of extreme alcohol consumption

Over time, extreme alcohol abuse can lead to chronic illnesses and other serious health problems, including memory loss and depression. Other health problems related to alcohol abuse and alcoholism include high blood pressure, liver disease, cancer, and heart disease. Health issues like liver disease can be extremely difficult to treat, if at all. Therefore, it is important to recognize the early signs of alcohol abuse. If not caught early and alcohol abuse develops into full-blown alcoholism, diseases like cirrhosis can occur and lead to death.


A person struggling with an alcohol problem can have negative effects on many aspects of their life, ranging from health problems to relationship problems with friends and family. Common treatments for alcohol abuse include behavioral therapies, medications, and support groups. It is always important to speak with a doctor to determine what treatment will be best for the individual based on their needs. Each person’s addiction is different, so different treatments may be needed.

No matter how badly a person falls into alcohol abuse, there are treatments available. Understanding the signs of abuse and getting early treatment will go a long way in overcoming addiction. Talk to a doctor and certified drug and alcohol specialists to find the right treatment plan or plans to help treat this condition. NBF

By Roy DuPrez

Roy DuPrez is the founder of Back2Basics Outer Adventure Recovery in Flagstaff, Arizona. Back2Basics is an adventure recovery program, up to six months, for young adult men ages 18-30 with substance abuse issues seeking a positive and meaningful life. In our program, clients are exposed to a weekly combination of wilderness adventures and residential programs. For more information, visit back2basicsoutdooradventures.comcall 928-814-2220 or email [email protected]

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