How to Recognize a Serious Problem with Alcohol

Posted by on Sep 15, 2019 in Couples Counseling, Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Recognize a Serious Problem with Alcohol

Alcohol use disorder, otherwise known as alcoholism, has reached epidemic levels in the United States. It’s potentially life-threatening and greatly affects one’s quality of life. One way this occurs is that alcohol abuse makes it very hard to be emotionally engaged and present in a relationship. It’s also equally difficult to make long-lasting changes in a relationship when someone is drinking heavily or excessively.

Key reasons why this is true are that 1) alcohol impairs judgment and 2) it affects how one interacts with other people, even their partner. If alcohol use is present in your relationship, it’s important to consider if you or your partner have a serious problem with alcohol.

It’s important to note that you do not need a certain amount of alcohol consumption for there to be a serious problem. Even with moderate drinking, a problem can still exist.

How to Tell if You Have a Serious Problem with Alcohol

It isn’t always easy to determine whether or not you have a serious problem with alcohol.  Alcohol abuse symptoms can be misunderstood. Or, you’re not even aware that what your doing is connected to bigger issues surrounding alcohol. Consider the signs of alcoholism that are based on the criteria established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which is used by counselors and therapists.  

Eleven Signs of Alcoholism

1. You often drink more, or for a longer period of time, than you originally intended. Catching up with friends over a quick drink after work turns into drinking for hours.

2. You have tried to cut back, or even stop drinking, several times but have not been successful. You know you drink too much but it is a real struggle to decrease how much you drink.

3. You spend a great deal of time participating in alcohol-related activities. For instance, often going to parties or the bar, or maybe drinking for most of the weekend.

4. It’s not unusual for you to experience a strong urge or desire to drink. This often happens when you feel stressed out.

5. Alcohol use interferes with your ability to fulfill your responsibilities at home, work, or school. For example, you don’t make it work or finish your homework because you are too hungover. 

6. Drinking has exacerbated problems in your relationships with others. People in your life notice your drinking and feel that it is a problem, which leads to tension and arguments.

7. You have given up or cut back on important activities because of alcohol. An example of this would be not going to a family dinner if the restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol.

8. You repeatedly do things that are risky or dangerous when drinking. For example, driving or swimming when drinking.

9. You continue to drink despite the fact that it causes health problems, such as memory blackouts or worsening depression.

10. It takes more alcohol now for you to become intoxicated than it did previously. Or perhaps drinking the same amount as always doesn’t affect you very much anymore.

11. You suffer withdrawal symptoms when you haven’t consumed alcohol. Examples include the following: anxiety; headache; nausea and vomiting; sweating; racing heart; seeing, hearing; or feeling things that are not really there; and seizures. 

If you or your partner answered yes to two or more of the symptoms listed above, then it’s time to get professional help and treatment.


Alcohol abuse does cause serious damage to everything in your life. Whether it’s your relationship with your partner, your ability to function at work, or even to keep and maintain friendships, alcohol can ruin what’s most important to you. After considering the facts, if you decide that you have a serious problem with alcohol, get help. If you are in the Wichita Falls area, you can contact the Recovery Center at (940) 761-3034.

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