Signs Of Drinking Too Much

Learn more about how to identify the signs of drinking too much alcohol

What You’ll Find In This Guide

In order to help you better understand the detriment and warning signs, we’ve compiled a list that outlines some negative and harmful behaviors that may be indicative of alcohol abuse. We’ve also included various questions you can ask yourself to put your behavior in perspective against these concerns.

The greatest difference between alcohol and other drugs is that fact that it is legal and socially condoned within many sectors of society. Alcohol use is prevalent within many social events, ranging from a night after work, to sporting events, weddings, and numerous other celebrations. Despite the fact it is more acceptable, it is not without risk—alcohol use and abuse can devastate your body and mind in countless ways, leading to addiction and even death.
Due to its prevalence within leisure functions, and the lives of many Americans, it can at times be hard for certain individuals to identify that they have a problem. An unfortunate misnomer exists for some—that an alcohol addiction is the only problem connected to drinking. On the contrary, other measures of alcohol abuse exist, carrying varying degrees of risks and dangers.

Understanding The Spectrum Of Risks

Perhaps you only drink several times a month, and due to this, you’ve created the false perception of a safety net around you, believing that you’re immune from the dangers that alcohol can exert on a person’s life. What matters most is not the frequency you drink, though this is definitely of concern, but the amount you consume when you drink.
You may only drink a handful of times, maybe only once a week, however, when you do drink, you may consume large quantities of alcohol within a short period of time. This pattern of behavior called binge drinking is unfortunately quite common, existing heavily within college-aged populations and extending to social events among persons of every age, heavily fueled by a sense of camaraderie, celebration, challenge, and peer pressure.
Binge drinking is not without risk. Due to the excessive amounts of alcohol flooding your body within a short period of time, your body can still encounter serious risks and damage. To name only a few, binge drinkers are known to experience alcohol poisoning, cardiovascular concerns, liver damage, and unintended pregnancy. In addition, research shows that binge drinkers are at a greater risk of developing an alcohol addiction.

Warning Signs For Alcohol Abuse

When a person suffers from an alcohol addiction, the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption has reached the point of becoming a compulsive behavior. The pursuit of alcohol has now began to rule their life, and change the very way they live.

In order to help you better understand the detriment and warning signs, we’ve compiled a list that outlines some negative and harmful behaviors that may be indicative of alcohol abuse. We’ve also included various questions you can ask yourself to put your behavior in perspective against these concerns.


This is two part. First, if you find that you are hiding your drinking behaviors from your peers, coworkers, friends, or family, stop and consider why you are hiding. Secondly, if you find that you are hiding your alcohol in a secret stash, that way you’re able to drink, or drink greater quantities, you might have a problem.


We’ve talked about binge drinking, now we’ll outline how to identify if you engage in this harmful behavior. According to the CDC, binge drinking occurs when a certain number of drinks are consumed within two hours. For men this generally equates to five or more drinks, and for women, four or more.


A person changes under the influence. Alcohol changes the way a person’s mind functions, which can result in them exhibiting behaviors that they normally wouldn’t sober. Have you found that you’re stealing, becoming violent, or speaking and acting in a way that is beyond your typical personality or behaviors?


Due to its effects on your central nervous system, alcohol can decrease your judgement, ability to reason, and your sense of inhibition. As these things falter, and as a person consumes more alcohol, they may be apt to engage in behaviors that they wouldn’t otherwise consider, including, driving recklessly, taking part in unsafe sexual practices, or operating heavy machinery.


Though an extension of the former, this behavior is serious enough to note on its own. Have you ever drank beyond the legal limit and got behind the wheel of a car? This not only jeopardizes your safety, but that of those around you, including any passengers, pedestrians, or occupants of other vehicles you might encounter along the way.


Have you ever spent a night drinking, only to wake up the next day and not remember events from the night prior? Have you had to resort to asking someone what happened, and still found that you don’t remember? Heavy drinking can impact a person’s cognitive functioning, to the extent that they encounter significant memory lapses.


Many people who drink have at one point, over the course of their life experienced a hangover or two, due to a temporary lapse in judgement, however, if you experience hangovers on a regular basis, it could be a sign that your alcohol use is out of control.


Have you ever found that you fixed yourself a drink when you woke up in an attempt to reduce the ill effects of drinking the night before? Or because you couldn’t imagine starting the day without numbing it a bit first? People may refer to this drink as an “eye opener,” or “hair of the dog.”


Many people who drink have at one point, over the course of their life experienced a hangover or two, due to a temporary lapse in judgement, however, if you experience hangovers on a regular basis, it could be a sign that your alcohol use is out of control.


As a person becomes increasingly more preoccupied with alcohol, they may find little to no interest in things that previously interested them, including hobbies, family events, or community involvement.


Due to feelings of shame, or fear of being found out, or simply because a person’s thoughts continue to revolve more and more around their pursuit of drinking, a person may begin to push their friends, family, or coworkers away, and lose interest in social activities and events.


Aside from pushing away people who you have existing relationships with, you may find that your social sphere has changed. Do most, or all of your current acquaintances, that you see on a fairly regular basis drink?


Now that you’ve begun to hang out with different people, you may find that what you do to pass the time has also changed. When you look at your social events or activities, do most of them revolve around finding and consuming alcohol? Do you hang out at bars more than before, find that you’re always showing up at a person’s house with alcohol in hand, or increasingly ask people if they want to drink with you?


If you encounter yourself drinking as a way to combat stress, troubles within your life, or symptoms of mental health disorders, this is a worrisome behavior.


Experiencing financial troubles due to your pursuit of alcohol can be a major warning sign that trouble is on the rise. If you find that you are spending money that you don’t have on alcohol, or money that should be spent elsewhere—for instance money that should be put towards your mortgage, utilities, food, or any other financial obligations, there is cause for concern.


If you are embroiled in legal concerns due to circumstances that happened because of your alcohol consumption, you should evaluate the impact that alcohol has on your life. This could take the form of a DUI or DWI, or any other number of legal difficulties drinking may cause.


If your friends, family members, or coworkers have approached you about your drinking habits, the way you behave when your drink, and/or how your drinking affects them, your drinking may be out of control.

Signs Of An Alcohol Addiction

Any of the above signs may point to an alcohol addiction, as they are all characteristic of unhealthy patterns of alcohol use. Beyond these, however, exist the following, more clearly delineated signs of an alcohol addiction.

Preoccupation With Drinking

Are you spending greater and greater amounts of time thinking about using alcohol? Do you expend increasing amounts of energy in your pursuit to find and use alcohol?


Experiencing Cravings

Do you find that you encounter an overwhelming need or sense of urgency to drink?

Loss Of Control

Once you’ve had one drink, are you unable to limit how much you consume beyond that, or find that you are unable to stop drinking all together?


Developing A Tolerance

When you drink, has it gradually taken more alcohol to create the same desired effects that the alcohol previously offered from a smaller amount? This is due to your body developing a physical dependency on the alcohol.


Developing A Tolerance

Due to this physical dependence, a person may experience symptoms of withdrawal if they suddenly stop drinking. The following are only a portion of the possible symptoms:










Sleep disruption




Fast heartbeat

If you experience any of these symptoms, there is cause for concern. Also, please be aware, that we never recommend that a person stop drinking “cold-turkey,” or without gradually tapering the amount of alcohol that is consumed, due to the fact that it can be very dangerous, and even deadly. We also recommend that a person never do this with proper medical supervision, as there are a great many treatment options that can help you during this transitional time.

The Benefit To Seeking Treatment


If you or a loved one suffers from an alcohol addiction, you don’t have to journey towards sobriety alone. There are many alcohol rehab programs across the country that can help you find individualized care that can assist you towards finding sobriety.

As we’ve noted, it can be unwise to detox on your own, for that reason many programs offer a medical detox, allowing you care 24 hours a day while you detox from alcohol. This helps to ensure that you are as safe and comfortable as possible. During this time, facilities may administer certain medications to alleviate symptoms of withdrawal and quell your anxiety.


After this period, treatment begins, which will integrate a variety of modalities that are geared towards building your sobriety, coping skills, and resilience, so that you may have the most successful recovery. Treatment may include inpatient or outpatient rehab, and any combination of therapy, either individual and/or group, family support, aftercare and relapse prevention, and any number of specialized approaches, including wilderness, equine, or art therapy. All of these are designed to help you find and maintain a more enriching and alcohol-free life.

Coping Skills

Holistic Treatment

Equine Therapy

Relapse Prevention Plan


Wilderness Rehab

Music Therapy

Adventure Therapy

Find Out How To Create A More Positive And Healthful Life

It can be hard to look yourself in the eye and realize you have a problem. Even if you have managed to do this, it can be hard to move forward to the next step and seek help. We understand how difficult this time can be, and are standing by to support and encourage you. is a comprehensive resource on alcohol abuse and addiction, as well as the variety of treatment options that exist to help you find sobriety. Please don’t let your habits consume you any further.

Contact us today, and get started on a better path towards hope and better health.

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