Alcoholism Symptoms: What You Need to Know & How to Help

Alcohol abuse in America is one of the most common forms of substance abuse. In a 2019 study by the US government, more than 25% of people 18 and older admitted to binge drinking in the past year. Does that mean that more than a quarter of Americans would qualify as alcoholics? Not necessarily. Researchers put the number of Americans with alcohol use disorder at much less than that. How can you tell if your loved one’s drinking is really a problem? And with alcohol misuse as one of the leading causes of death in the country, how can you help them get on the road to recovery — before it’s too late? 

What is Alcoholism? 

Today, medical professionals use the term “alcohol use disorder” to describe people that likely would have been described as “alcoholics” in the past. The “AUD” terminology has less of the stigma that “alcoholic” carries, and it also better describes the spectrum of misuse issues that AUD can present. The term “alcohol use disorder” also highlights the fact that people with AUD have a brain disease that causes them to use alcohol differently than their peers. 

Alcohol use disorder is not diagnosed by looking at the quantity or type of drink that someone consumes. For some people, just one glass of wine can lead to horrible consequences for someone with AUD. It also is not diagnosed by analyzing the frequency of someone’s drinking. Instead, alcohol use disorder considers the way in which alcohol is used and the impact of alcohol use on someone’s life. Above all, the diagnostic criteria asks if someone sees negative effects from their drinking and is able to stop.

Alcoholism Symptoms 

Signs of alcoholism can manifest in many different areas of a loved one’s life. If they are having issues at work, it might not be the new boss who’s the problem. Or, sudden legal and financial difficulties might not just be a coincidence. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that their drinking is impacting your relationship in a negative way. 

Is your loved one willing to admit the ways in which alcohol is destroying their life? If so, are they able and willing to stop? If the answer to either of those questions is “no,” it may be time for professional addiction treatment.

Get Help for Alcoholism in Rehab

In alcohol rehab, your loved one will learn the skills needed to get sober and to stay that way. Primarily, that means identifying the underlying reasons for why your loved one is drinking. Perhaps they are struggling with childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, for example. By healing those inner wounds and providing education on the disease of alcoholism, relapse prevention, and more, the rehab clinical team can put your loved on on the road to recovery with a road map for a brighter future.

Are you ready to get help for a loved one with a drinking problem? Call our caring admissions team today. They’ll listen to your story and help you explore whether rehab could be helpful for your loved one. 


Alcoholism Symptoms: What You Need to Know & How to Help