Home Drug Info Alcohol
Share this page: Print this page:


About Alcohol Problems

Drinking problems can have devastating effects on adults and teens, their families, and their communities.

Alcohol abuse is one type of alcohol problem. A person can abuse alcohol without actually being an alcoholic—that is, he or she may drink too much and too often but still not be dependent. Binge drinking is an example of alcohol abuse, defined as 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in about 2 hours. Consequences of alcohol abuse may include: damaged relationships with family and friends; not being able to meet work or school responsibilities; drunk-driving and car accidents; and drinking-related medical conditions.

Nearly 30 percent of Americans have drinking habits that the CDC would call “excessive.”

Alcoholism occurs when a person is physically dependent on alcohol. Symptoms of alcoholism may include: a strong, powerful urge to drink; drinking more than you planned or not being able to stop once you start; sweating, shakiness, or anxiety after you’ve stopped drinking; and the need to drink greater amounts to get the same effect.

Signs that Someone Needs Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism

Here are questions to ask if you’re concerned that you or someone you love—a spouse, child, parent, or friend—may have a drinking problem.

Have you ever felt that you should cut down on drinking?

Have people annoyed you by criticizing drinking habits?

Have you ever felt bad or guilty about drinking habits?

Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you or your family member may have a problem; if you answered “yes” to more than one question, it’s highly likely that a problem exists.


At Phoenix House, treatment for alcohol abuse and alcoholism is individualized and depends on the severity of the problem. We treat the whole person and provide care at every stage of recovery.

Our detoxification and stabilization programs help people safely discontinue alcohol use and minimize withdrawal symptoms. Our residential and outpatient programs provide individual and group counseling as well as family support, using the latest research-tested treatment methods to give our clients the tools for lasting sobriety.

Most of our programs also offer Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and 12-step groups. In addition, we provide aftercare and ongoing recovery support to help clients successfully maintain recovery.

David W

“I’m no longer afraid of who I am without a drink in my hand.”

David W., Phoenix House Alum

Read my story

We Can Help

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s drinking or your own, it may be time to talk to a professional. Our caring, compassionate team can provide a comprehensive, confidential evaluation to help you and your family determine next steps. We offer safe, affordable treatment at a location near you. Call us anytime: we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.