5 Signs of the Beginnings of Alcoholism

Becoming alcoholic

Do you worry about a loved one and their drinking habits? Does it seem like they may be changing over from taking the “occasional” drink to having a serious problem?

Here are the 5 signs which may mean your loved one is struggling with alcoholism.

1) Money problems

For all addictions, money problems are a clear indication that something is wrong and alcoholism is no exception—whether it is trouble paying bills, constantly asking for money, or being unable to hold down a job. Start looking into what is going on and look for other signs of alcohol abuse.

2) Decline in Personal Hygiene

If the person has started to be unkempt, with unruly hair, dirty clothes, or messy living quarters, that could be a sign that they have begun to abuse alcohol. Someone who is struggling with alcohol, even if they are a “functional alcoholic,” will have things around them start to slip. Many times, hygiene is one of the first things to go.

3) Accidents

Falling accidents or automobile crashes—especially if it’s on a regular basis—could be a strong indication that the person is drinking to intoxication on an all-too-regular basis. Due to alcohol’s ability to impair motor functions, it is common that people struggling with alcoholism will be more inclined to have accidents. If you notice them having bumps and scrapes and trips to the local Emergency Room, they may have developed a drinking habit.

4) Legal Problems

While a DWI is a clear sign a person is drinking too much, other legal charges could be a sign as well. Receiving a drunk and disorderly charge, or an “open container” charge could also indicate an issue. It’s not to say that people who don’t have drinking problems don’t get into legal troubles, however, someone getting into legal trouble is a good sign that you should start looking out for the possibility of substance abuse.

5) Irritability or Mood Swings

Often over-drinking will cause a person to have hangovers and not feel good, which can then result in them having a short fuse. This type of behavior can also result in them having mood swings going from jolly and intoxicated to sad to angry and back again. This makes dealing with them extremely frustrating. If this is regular behavior for them, it can be an indication that substance abuse and alcoholism are involved.

Individually, these signs could simply be the sign of a bad day or a mistake, but if you start seeing more than one of these, chances are the person you’re worried about has a problem—or at least the beginning of one. If you are seeing some signs but are not sure, you can call us to speak with a professional.



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.