Signs of Problem Drinking

Printer-friendly version

There are two different types of alcohol use disorders: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.  In fact, according to the National Institute of Health 31% of college students abuse alcohol. 

Someone might be abusing alcohol if drinking has repeatedly caused one or more of these problems in the past year:

  • Risk of bodily harm (like drinking and driving, or falling down while drunk)
  • Relationship trouble (family or friends)
  • Neglecting Responsibilities (interference with home, work, or school obligations)
  • Run-ins with the law (drinking tickets, arrests, etc.)

Someone is dependent on alcohol if they experience recurrent health, legal, or social problems as well as:

  • Loss of control over drinking (not being able to cut down, not being able to stick to limits)
  • High tolerance (needing to drink a lot more to get the same effect)
  • Withdrawal (tremors, sweating, nausea, or insomnia when trying to quit or cut down)
  • Spending a lot of time drinking and recovering

Concerned about yourself or a friend? Use this quick screening tool.

 

Sources:

Rethinking Drinking: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/295/17/2100.full.pdf