What are the tell-tale signs of an Alcoholic?

Published by Raffa Bari | Last updated: 10th December 2021

What are the tell-tale signs of an Alcoholic?

Alcohol is a widely adopted substance. Whilst it’s one of the most consumed substances across generations, demographics, and countries, it’s also one of the most addictive.

Over recent years, drinking habits have escalated. Due to this, alcoholism as a brain condition and its diagnosis rates have also increased. However, it can be difficult for some people to differentiate normal consumption, binge drinking, and abuse.

Heavy drinking may not always indicate a problem. Yet, it can be paired with many other signs and symptoms in some instances. Here’s our take on ‘what are the tell-tale signs of an alcoholic?’ to offer greater insight and awareness.

Whilst alcoholism can materialise in many different ways; there are some warning signs for various reasons. If you’re experiencing or witnessing them, we’re here for you at Cassiobury Court, offering advice and addiction treatment.


What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a brain disorder fuelled by unhealthy relationships with alcohol. Alcohol is an addictive drug that impacts both the body and brain, from functionality to health. It’s also found to deteriorate other areas of life by disrupting commitments, relationships, and day-to-day flow.

Drinking heavily or consistently can build up a tolerance to alcohol, meaning that higher quantities are required to feel the same effect. Most people consume alcohol as it’s a depressant, and it helps to slow everything down. It also taps into the reward system, offering feel-good emotions. However, in the long-term, it can disrupt the central nervous system and how it interacts with the rest of the body, causing damages and impairments.

One of those damages is alcoholism, described as a difficult habit to stop or withdraw from. It can be caused by various stimuli, from poor mental health, trauma and influential environments to stress and peer pressure. Due to the relaxing and escape-like feelings that alcohol offers, along with its innocent branding, it’s relied upon by many.

Where control is limited, alcoholism can be a complicated disorder to live with. If you’re either living with the warning signs or believe that someone you know is suffering, help is available. Here’s some insight into spotting alcoholism as we respond to ‘what are the tell-tale signs of an alcoholic?’.


What are the main signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction?

Substance use problems and behavioural issues can display in many different ways. Some people can hide their symptoms of alcoholism, and others will encounter mild symptoms, making alcoholism a complex disorder to spot. Whilst some alcoholics will experience life-limiting and noticeable warning signs. Being aware of this and possible warning signs is essential to approach alcohol abuse and recovery mindfully.

Signs and symptoms are commonly displayed through physical health, psychological changes, social commitments, and behavioural differences. An alcoholic can show signs from each category, depending on the length, severity and changes caused by alcohol abuse.


Physical tell-tale signs of an alcoholic

  • Weight problems
  • Sunken appearance
  • A consistent smell of alcohol
  • Higher consumption levels
  • Visibly intoxicated
  • Poor hygiene
  • Display of withdrawal symptoms
  • Hangover-like symptoms
  • Consistent health problems
  • Displaying signs of illness, such as instability, liver problems and digestive issues
  • Experiencing cravings


Psychological tell-tale signs of an alcoholic

  • Memory problems
  • Poor mental health
  • Poor coordination
  • Irritability
  • Poor decision making
  • Sleep problems
  • Irrational and risky outlooks
  • Difficulties communicating


Social tell-tale signs of an alcoholic

  • A change in interest
  • A change in social circle
  • Prioritising social events fuelled by alcohol
  • A disinterest in previous hobbies, relationships, or responsibilities


Behavioural tell-tale signs of an alcoholic

  • Prioritising alcohol consumption
  • A change in personality
  • Disengaging from usual relationships
  • Inability to say no to alcohol
  • Using unhealthy coping strategies
  • An inability to lead a sober lifestyle
  • Financial and legal problems
  • Poor workplace performance
  • Inability to complete everyday tasks
  • Becoming secretive
  • Continuing to drink through consequences


If heavy alcohol consumption is paired with ill-health, disengagement, a change in behaviour and habits, an alcohol use disorder could be developing. The tell-tale signs of an alcoholic are unpredictable, yet drinking problems are evident through consistent, unbreakable habits.


Treatments available for alcoholism

Alcoholism treatment is available through alcohol rehab. At Cassiobury Court, we offer personalised treatment plans to help clients work through their drinking problems. Private facilities, dedicated teams and residential settings are provided through our plans.

To help an alcoholic withdraw and recover, various treatment options must be recommended and completed. Detoxification is the first step to removing alcohol from the body, and this can be tough, especially for an alcoholic with strong and aggressive habits. The detoxification process can be completed with a dedicated medical team by working through withdrawal symptoms.

Rehabilitation is also necessary when overcoming alcoholism. Various therapy sessions will be offered through alcohol rehab to diminish the positive feelings and rewards that alcohol is regularly associated with. Our therapies include cognitive behavioural therapy, art therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, mental health support and holistic therapies.

Relapse prevention planning, aftercare and 12-step plans will also need to be completed post-rehab. Initial treatment will help to remove and heal the damages of addiction, and physical and psychological health can be improved through rehab. Post-rehab treatment will then focus on the social and behavioural changes caused by alcoholism to adapt commitments and actions.

Treatment for alcohol problems can be accessed immediately through a private admissions process. Tailored plans, confidential support and practical recovery steps can be experienced through alcohol rehab.


Supporting a loved one with an alcohol addiction

If you believe that your loved one is displaying the tell-tale signs of an alcoholic, you can support them. It’s essential to disable any form of consumption, it’s critical to be prepared for setbacks, and it’s important to educate yourself.

With a clean house, realistic outlooks, and awareness, you’ll have the tools and empathy to support a loved one. An initial conversation can be challenging, which we can assist with through a family and friend referral. We’re also here to offer advice on your approach and motivate rehab as an option.

Family interventions can also be arranged, support for yourself will also be available, and guidance on standing by your loved one through alcohol rehab will be offered.

Reach out at Cassiobury Court if you’re worried about someone else, or yourself, by spotting the common signs and symptoms. Contact us today for greater clarity on ‘what are the tell-tale signs of an alcoholic?’ or for a confidential assessment.

Raffa Bari

Raffa Bari - Author Last updated: 10th December 2021

CQC Registered Manager

Raffa manages the day to day caring services here at Cassiobury Court. Dedicated to the treatment and well being of our visitors she is an outstanding mental health coach registered with BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists). Raffa has outstanding experience in managing rehabs across the country and is vastly experienced at helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions.