Alcohol Excess Signs – When Drinking Becomes A Problem

Alcohol excess signs are indicative of a drinking problem that goes beyond just enjoying a drink in moderation every now and then. Since drinking is such a part of society it may be difficult for some individuals to tell when the line has been crossed in their drinking habits. When alcohol excess signs begin to appear this is an indication that perhaps the person has become either an abuser of alcohol or may have become an alcoholic, for either situation the person needs help.

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism have some factors that make individuals predisposed to develop one of these conditions. For instance some persons are genetically predisposed to alcohol, a person’s upbringing must be considered as well as the social world that the person is a part of, as well as the person’s physical environment. Family history of drinking problems plays a role as well as ethnicity, with some ethnic groups having a higher incidence of alcohol abuse or alcoholism than others. In addition, those with mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression are susceptible and at risk due to their use of alcohol to self-medicate.

What Are The Signs of An Alcohol Problem?

The rule of thumb is that since drinking is a part of so many cultures and since the effects of drinking vary from person to person, drinking has become a problem if your drinking is causing you problems in your life.

In general it can be said that there is a drinking problem if the person:

• Feels guilty or ashamed about their drinking.

• Lies to others or tries to hide their drinking habit.

• Has friends or family who express concern about their drinking.

• Has the need to drink to relax or feel better.

• Has black outs or forgets what they were doing while they were drinking.

• Regularly drinks more than they intend to.

Although it may be established that a person has a drinking problem, there is a difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism, how can you tell which is which?

According to substance abuse experts alcohol abusers have some ability to set limits on their drinking, alcoholics also called alcohol dependents do not have that ability. Nevertheless, alcohol abusers still are engaging in self-destructive behaviors that are danger to themselves and others and they need help.

The criteria for at risk drinking are:

For men greater than 14 drinks per week or greater than 4 drinks per occasion and for women greater than 7 drinks per week or greater than 3 drinks per occasion.

Alcohol Excess Signs and Symptoms - Alcohol Abuse

• There is a failure to fulfill role obligations at work, school or home.

• There is a use of alcohol in situations that are physically dangerous.

• Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of their drinking.

• Continued use of alcohol despite the fact that alcohol is causing problems in the person’s personal or social life.

• There is drinking as a way to relax or de-stress.

Alcoholism has all of the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse, and is the severest form of drinking problem with added signs and symptoms which include dependence on alcohol to function or feeling compelled to drink, if this criteria is met then the person is an alcoholic.

Alcohol Excess Signs and Symptoms - Alcoholism also known as Alcohol Dependence

• Tolerance (meaning over time needing more and more alcohol to feel its effects or to feel the effects from the same amount consumed).

• Withdrawal (withdrawal symptoms or drinking to relieve the feelings of withdrawal).

• The person has loss of control over drinking consuming more than they wanted to over a longer period of time than intended.

• Has the desire to cut down on drinking or to quit but can’t.

• Has given up or reduced other activities such as work, social, or recreational activities because of alcohol.

• Alcohol use is taking up a great deal of the person’s energy and focus (the person can think of little else except getting that next drink).

• The person drinks even though they know that it’s causing them problems (problems with health and relationships).

Signs of Denial That There is A Problem

The person who drinks may show that they are in denial by:

• Underestimating drastically how much they drink.

• Downplaying the negative consequences of their drinking.

• Complaining that family or friends are exaggerating the problem.

• Blaming drinking or drinking related problems on others.

When a person drinks for long periods of time there may be brain deficits that persist long after the individual achieves sobriety. Chronic alcoholism produces many different mental disorders.

Malnutrition is a definite problem, because after years of drinking brain cells become damaged permanently and are unable to metabolize nutrients properly.


Alcoholism and Malnutrition - A Consequence of Too Much Drinking

For more information about alcohol excess signs click on the link to

For other information on nutrition including alcohol excess signs some great references are:

• Nutrition – Fourth Edition by Paul Insel, Don Ross, Kimberley McMahon, and Melissa Bernstein

Other Website Resources

To learn more about all aspects of alcoholism visit

To learn about how alcoholism affects women visit Safe Menopause

Alcohol and Diet
Alcohol and Metabolism
Alcohol Health Effects
Chronic Disease
Nutrition Eating Disorders
Exercise and Vitamins
Nutrition and Exercise
Cooking and Nutrition
Nutrients In Food
Energy From Food
Water and Nutrition
Dietary Minerals
Cooking Recipes
Cooking Easy Recipes Home