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Signs of a Drinking Problem

The topics below will help in understanding whether you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol.

Alcoholism vs. Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is only one type of an alcohol problem. Alcohol abuse can also be just as harmful.
A person can abuse alcohol without actually being an alcoholic—that is, drink too much and too often but still not be dependent on alcohol.

Some of the problems linked to alcohol abuse include:

  • Not being able to meet work, school, or family responsibilities
  • Drunk-driving and car accidents
  • Drinking-related medical conditions

Signs and symptoms of alcoholism may include:

  • Feeling a strong need or compulsion to drink
  • Drinking alone or hiding your drinking
  • Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, or shaking

What Should I Do?

If you think that you or someone you love might have an alcohol problem, it is normal to feel unsure of what to do. A good first step may be simply talking with a professional. They can help you determine if a drinking problem exists and plan the best course of action.