In some situations, it can be difficult to spot an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol is one of the most consumed legal substances, accessible across the globe. It’s normalised and accepted, even to binge-like scales. With that, differentiating someone who’s in control of their alcohol consumption, against someone who isn’t, can be tough.

Commonly recognisable through physical, psychological, behavioural, and social changes, warning signs of alcoholism are expected through uncontrollable and unhealthy habits. Here’s how to recognise them as we consider ‘what are the signs someone is an alcoholic?’.

At Asana Lodge, we’re here to provide insight, offer support and deliver specialist guidance and treatment through alcohol rehab. Either helping an alcoholic or helping yourself through rehabilitation will be beneficial. Reach out to overcome any degree of drinking problem.


What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a compulsive disorder that attacks the brain. It can be caused by various triggers, mostly associated with high emotions, social pressures, and influential environments.

Also diagnosed as alcohol addiction, a grave dependence on alcohol is found to adapt outlooks, physical actions, everyday commitments, and priorities. Although change is inevitable, it can, however, be difficult to spot the signs of alcoholism, due to denial, secret drinking habits and the acceptance of our heavy drinking culture.

Alcohol is a depressant, which relaxes and slows down the body and mind. It targets the central nervous system, which can also trigger the internal reward system. Found to influence positive feelings and emotions, consumption can be seen as a reward for both the body and mind. Yet through such exposure, alcohol can be associated with a false sense of happiness, confidence, and escape, showcasing its addictive nature.

Enabling an alcohol addiction can result in many health concerns, conditions, and co-occurring disorders. Vital organs can become damaged, mental health issues can arise, and overall quality of life can be suppressed. Being mindful of alcohol consumption and its dangers, along with the risks of addiction are therefore very important.

Spotting the signs of alcoholism at an early rate can reduce the consequences of addiction. As most addictions are witnessed, acknowledged, and intervened by loved ones, awareness is key. Here’s how to be aware as we answer, ‘what are the signs someone is an alcoholic?’.


Signs and symptoms of alcoholism

Alcoholism is an unpredictable disorder. It affects people from all walks of life, it’s caused by a wide range of stimuli, and it can materialise through various warning signs. There are however some common signs, showcased through physical, psychological, behavioural, and social changes.

Here are some of the signs that someone you care about may be an alcoholic or suffering from alcohol problems. It’s however important to be sure, prior to approaching them, as some of the below changes can also be experienced through further health problems.


Physical warning signs

  • Frequent hangover-like symptoms
  • A high frequency of illness
  • Grave levels of intoxication
  • Heavy drinking habits
  • Changes to weight
  • Signs of sleep disorders
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Unhealthy lifestyle choices
  • Appearing tired and irritable
  • Display of alcohol withdrawal symptoms


Psychological warning signs

  • Episodes of poor mental health
  • Symptoms of depression, anxiety, or panic
  • Unexplainable mood swings
  • Memory problems and the inability to concentrate
  • The use of alcohol as medication
  • Secret drinking habits, acting as denial
  • Signs of chronic stress
  • Alcohol cravings


Behavioural warning signs

  • Changes to responsibilities and interests
  • Associating with other alcoholics
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Poor performance in work
  • Inappropriate behaviours
  • Irrational decision making
  • Inappropriate drinking habits
  • Continuing to drink through any consequences


Social warning signs

  • Changes to personality, attitude, and humour
  • Social anxiety and withdrawal
  • Isolating from loved ones
  • Choosing alcohol-fuelled activities


If someone you care about is addicted to alcohol, some form of change will be noticeable. Whether their alcohol consumption rates have increased, whether they are using alcohol to relieve stress or pain, whether they are struggling financially due to their habits, or whether they are isolating themselves from you, risks of alcoholism will be present. Yet it is important to be sure of their position with alcohol, prior to completing a referral or requesting an intervention.

For reassurance, reach out to our team for more insight into ‘what are the signs someone is an alcoholic?’.


How to help an alcoholic

If you are worried about your loved one and their drinking habits, there are ways that you can help them. Below are some tips on approaching and supporting an alcoholic, with the intent to disable alcoholism.

  • Be aware and knowledgeable of alcoholism, its cause, its signs, and its treatment
  • Lead with a compassionate and helpful attitude
  • Openly discuss your concerns
  • Offer support and care throughout the process, avoiding judgement, anger, or negative language
  • Remain patient throughout the process
  • Aim to disable alcohol consumption by suggesting clean environments and activities
  • Complete a family and friend referral via alcohol rehab
  • Hold a professionally guided intervention
  • Be present, show up and share your support
  • Work alongside a specialist alcohol rehab for advice
  • Promote addiction treatment as a next step

Although it may be daunting to share your concerns, it is important to offer help and guide the way through addiction recovery. At Asana Lodge, we can help you by providing alcohol advice and information, along with direct access to rehab.


Treating alcoholism

Alcohol addiction must be treated in order to get clean and to lead a sober life. Specific addiction treatment services and programmes are available in this case via alcohol rehab.

Led by scientific evidence, at Asana Lodge, we make use of medical, therapeutic, and holistic therapies, all effective whilst treating alcoholism. We also form personalised treatment programmes, considering individual triggers, responses, and wellbeing.

Alcoholism will be best treated and overcome via residential rehab, offering an inpatient recovery experience. From here, alcohol withdrawal, therapy sessions, holistic therapies, relapse prevention planning, aftercare and alcoholic anonymous sessions can be worked through.

To access our support, you can complete a self-referral. If you’re visiting our website with the aim to support a loved one, you can complete a family and friend referral. By doing so, you can look to support your loved one, whilst personally overcoming the effects of addiction.

Alcoholism is a common substance-led addiction, which can be treated and managed. The sooner that treatment can begin, the sooner that sobriety can be aimed for. Reach out here at Asana Lodge to consider alcohol rehab or for greater clarity on ‘what are the signs someone is an alcoholic?’.


John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 14 January 2022

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

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