Early Signs of a Drinking Problem

Four Things to Watch For

He’s just drinking a lot because he’s having a tough time at work. All of her friends drink that frequently, too. His mom drank that often and didn’t have a problem. When alcohol is a prevalent part of our society and social lives, it can be challenging to determine when someone is beginning to have a drinking problem. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to an alcohol use disorder, also known as alcoholism, and the sooner you identify a potential issue, the better. So, what are the early signs of a drinking problem?

Early Signs of a Drinking Problem

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is when someone drinks heavily in a short period of time. For men, this is defined as consuming five or more drinks in two hours. For women, it’s four or more drinks within two hours.

Frequent Heavy Drinking

Men who drink 15 or more alcoholic beverages a week and women who drink eight or more alcoholic beverages a drink are considered frequent heavy drinkers. While drinking heavily occasionally does not point to a problem with alcohol, frequently indulging can.

Blacking Out

Blacking out occurs when someone has memory loss due to overconsumption of alcohol (though some drugs can cause a similar blackout experience). It is generally induced when someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches 0.15. The alcohol impairs the consumer’s ability to form new memories, so the person may feel like they don’t remember much that happened when they drank.

While blacking out is a personal experience, you might be able to tell someone has blacked out if they have:

  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Trouble talking or seeing
  • Impaired judgment

Risky Behavior When Drinking

Participating in risky behaviors is another early sign of a drinking problem. The person might do things that can have severe consequences like driving while intoxicated or having unprotected sex.

Are You Noticing Early Signs of a Drinking Problem?

Alcohol use disorders are complex, challenging, and emotional for everyone impacted. The sooner you are able to address the addiction, the better. North Star Treatment Services provides intensive outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Call us today at 610-265-2215 to take the first step.