Addiction to alcohol is surprisingly common. Its ready availability and ease of access make it the number one addictive substance in the United States. More than 17 million people struggle with alcohol dependence or abuse. That's a staggering one out of every twelve adults.
There are many forms that alcoholism can take as well. Some are obvious, such as alcohol bottles strewn about the home, getting a DUI or stealing money to buy alcohol. However, other signs of alcohol addiction are harder to see.
Some people who are dependent on alcohol don't even know they have a problem. They go from enjoying a few drinks out with their friends to a full-blown addiction without being aware that they were on a dangerous road in the first place.
There is a difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. When someone abuses alcohol, they drink excessively despite how it negatively impacts them, either physically or socially. Alcoholism is when someone becomes dependent on alcohol and has a physical or psychological compulsion to drink.
If you're not sure if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, here are some hidden signs to look out for that will allow you to recognize the issue so that you can seek out help and recovery.
Alcohol abuse often starts in a person's 20s. Heavy drinking gives way to an increased tolerance, and before long, health problems can develop. Because the excessive use of alcohol pays a heavy toll on our physical health, outward warning signs are sometimes the most easily recognized. These include:
Even if someone doesn't present any outward signs that they're addicted to alcohol, there are other warnings you can look for. These include changes in behavior and mood that prove a growing reliance on the use of alcohol. Some of the other hidden alcohol addiction signs to watch out for include:
If these hidden signs of alcohol addiction are hitting a little too close to home, it could be because you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism. If the drinking is getting out of control, then it's time to reach out. At Diamond House Detox, we offer a safe and private environment where you can get the help you need. Contact one of our confidential treatment advisors today.
Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on July 9th, 2018.