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How To Find Out If You Have An Alcohol Problem (And What To Do About It)

Updated on June 12, 2011


  • Drinking Responsibly
  • Why Some People Abuse Alcohol
  • How To Find Out If You Have An Alcohol Problem
  • I Have An Alcohol Problem...What Now?
  • More Resources

Drinking Responsibly

Most people drink alcohol from time to time. It is common for people to have a drink or two at social outings or events with friends (eg Saturday night at the bar/pub) or to have the odd glass of wine with dinner at home. Celebrations, milestones events, Christmas parties and other work functions are also vehicles for alcohol consumption.

Alcohol affects everybody differently. The effect of alcohol in the body depends on a number of factors including your sex, age, body weight and health. It is important to be aware of your limitations when drinking. It is essential that you make arrangements regarding transportation to and from an event where you plan to drink. It is not advisable to drive after drinking. If you must drive, ask to stay the night at a friend's place nearby and always ensure you remain well under the legal limits. Everyone has a duty of care to themselves and to other people on the road.

There are numerous studies that show that drinking alcohol responsibly may in fact have some health benefits. Sometimes however, for a variety of reasons such as those outlined below, some people abuse alcohol. They take drugs or other medication with alcohol or they drink excessively.

Why Some People Abuse Alcohol

Some people abuse alcohol for a number of reasons:

  • Escapism from reality
  • It gives them confidence
  • To help deal with life/work/family problems (break ups, death or money issues)
  • They are addicted or dependent on alcohol ("alcoholism")
  • Peer pressure (they think it's "cool")
  • People in their circle of influence do it and excessive consumption is seen as "normal"

In all cases, alcohol does NOT provide a solution to the problem. It may help someone defer dealing with a problem by providing short term relief, but will NOT eliminate the problem.

How To Find Out If You Have An Alcohol Problem

Some Common Warning Signs:

  • Feeling a "need" to drink
  • Hiding alcohol at school or work
  • Forgetting commitments or having blackouts
  • Drinking by yourself or secretly
  • Gulping down drinks or ordering doubles
  • Becoming more agitated or irritable closer to a regular drinking time or becoming angry if it is not available
  • Problems with money, relationships or work.
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as shaking when unable to drink

For further indication of an alcohol or drinking problem, search for and complete the "20 Questions" quiz online.

I Have An Alcohol Problem...What Now?

If you have just discovered you have an alcohol problem, that is great. It's the first step.

Here are some suggestions as to what you can do about it:

  • Abstinence - avoiding all alcohol is essential to put you back in control of your own life.
  • Ask for help from people knowledgeable about drinking problems, such as someone who has gone through it all before or through support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Book yourself into a rehabilitation facility in the early stages.
  • Avoid people or places that are associated with drinking (eg the bar).
  • See a nutritionist for tips on detoxing and modifying your diet to lessen any further damage on your liver and other organs already damaged by excess alcohol consumption.
  • Help other people by giving talksĀ and educating others on the effects of alcohol to prevent them going down similar paths (eg talks at high schools).

The following are some good hubs i've come across relating to alcohol and drinking problems: Stop Drinking Alcohol, Tips on searching for an alcohol abuse rehab facility & A Peek Inside Alcohol Rehab Counseling Sessions.


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    • jess can help u profile image

      jess can help u 7 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Marco great job! I am also in recovery, and I don't see alcoholism, or drug addiction being said enough. I enjoy browsing your many diverse pages, and you do an outstanding job of reaching people. Thanks for the info on alcohol abuse!

    • marcofratelli profile image

      marcofratelli 8 years ago from Australia

      Sure, thanks for coming by :)

    • profile image

      wordscribe41 8 years ago

      Hey, great hub, Marco. I'm in recovery myself, so this is a subject very near and dear to my heart. If it's okay with you, I can link a couple of my alcoholism hubs to this one. Thanks for sharing this very important information.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      My brother who doesn't drink has faced this a lot: Peer pressure (they think it's "cool").

      Somehow in modern times social drinking has become sort of a compulsion unlike for girls (at least from India) the guys have to face lots of comments from those who consume alcohol. Good hub.