The Warning Signs of Alcoholism


Many people who drink heavily realize that they have a drinking problem. What many individuals don't know, however, is if their drinking difficulties are an indication of alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

Are there actually alcoholism signs that lets drinkers know the extent of their drinking problem?

Are there really alcohol abuse or alcoholism warning signs that indicate that an individual needs professional alcohol treatment?

In short, what these problem drinkers need is a quick and easy way that describes some of the warning signs of alcoholism.

In line with this logic, here's a focus on ten warning signs of alcoholism as well as two additional instruments that may help clarify this issue.


A Listing of Ten Alcoholism Warning Signs

The following are ten warning signs of alcoholism that reveal how alcoholism warning signs can help a person determine whether or not he or she may be alcohol dependent.

  1. Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won't?

  2. Does your drinking worry your family?

  3. Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?

  4. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?

  5. Do you get headaches or have hang-overs after drinking?

  6. Does your drinking ever make you late for work?

  7. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?

  8. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?

  9. Do you ever forget what you did while you were drinking?

  10. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

If you answer even one of these questions with a "yes," you may be an alcoholic.

If you are concerned about your drinking or how drinking is affecting your health, your relationships, your financial situation, your employment, or your school work, make sure you make an appointment with your doctor or with another healthcare professional for an assessment and for possible treatment.

Source: Ten Warning Signs of Alcoholism

The Johns Hopkins University Hospital Screening Quiz

Similar to the "ten warning signs of alcoholism" is a 20 question self-assessment screening quiz by Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

Even though this instrument has 20 rather than 10 questions, it also points to different alcoholism warning signs that may indicate a serious drinking problem that requires professional treatment.

According to the developers of this screening quiz, the Office of Health Care Programs at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, if you answer 3 of these questions with a "Yes" it is a definite sign that your drinking behavior is harmful and that you could possibly be considered alcohol dependent or alcoholic.

As outlined above, if you are concerned about your drinking behavior and its effects on your health (as well as on your finances, employment, education, and relationships), you should probably see your doctor or healthcare professional for an assessment.

  1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?

  2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?

  3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?

  4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?

  5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?

  6. Have you had financial difficulties as a result of drinking?

  7. Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?

  8. Do you turn to inferior companions and environments when drinking?

  9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?

  10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?

  11. Do you want a drink the next morning?

  12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

  13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?

  14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?

  15. Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble?

  16. Do you drink alone?

  17. Have you ever had a loss of memory as a result of drinking?

  18. Has you physician ever treated you for drinking?

  19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?

  20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?

Source: 20 Alcoholism Questions

Another Alcoholism Self-Assessment Tool

Here's a third self-assessment tool to help you identify whether or not you have a drug or an alcohol addiction problem.

Stated differently, this instrument provides both alcoholism warning signs as well as drug abuse warning signs that help a person determine whether he or she has an alcoholism problem and/or drug abuse problems.

n short, use this brief instrument to help determine if you, a loved one, or a friend may have a drug addiction or an alcoholism problem.

Chances are that if you find yourself wondering if there really is a problem, their probably is.

If you answer yes to 4 or more of these questions, you may be dealing with a definite drug or alcohol problem.

  1. Has alcohol or drug use ever caused problems with work, school, or caring for your children?

  2. Has your drug use or drinking ever created a problem in your relationships (fights with spouse, children, other problems with those you love)?

  3. Have you ever had legal trouble because of your drug use or drinking (Possession, DUI, Public Drunkenness, etc)?

  4. Has using caused you to make new friends and lose old friendships, created an unsatisfying feeling of loneliness or isolation?

  5. Do you seek inferior companions while drinking or using drugs?

  6. Have you ever tried to quit drinking or using drugs?

  7. Have you ever been hospitalized for drinking or using drugs?

  8. Do you suffer from memory loss as a result of drinking or using drugs?

  9. Do you often think about how or when you will next drink or use drugs?

  10. Do you have cravings for alcohol or drugs first thing in the morning?

  11. Is there any recurring time during the day when you find yourself thinking of drinking or using drugs?

  12. Do you feel lack of motivation that you once had because of drinking or using drugs?

  13. Do you ever suffer from insomnia?

  14. Do you ever suffer from blackouts?

  15. Do you drink or use drugs when you are alone?

  16. Do you ever feel guilty after drinking or using drugs?

  17. Have you gained a reputation drinker, partier, or drug user?

  18. Do you try to overcome shyness or become more confident by drinking or using drugs?

  19. Do you sometimes stay intoxicated or high on drugs for days at a time?

  20. When sober, do you sometimes regret things you have said or done while under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

Source: Alcoholism Self Assessment

Conclusion: The Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Many individuals realize that they have a drinking problem.

Perhaps the main concern posed by these people, however, is whether they are alcohol dependent or whether they mainly abuse alcohol.

What these people need are alcoholism signs or a list of alcoholism warning signs to help determine the extent of their alcohol problem.


The ten warning signs of alcoholism and the two 20-question self-assessment instruments outlined above may help clarify this issue.

In short, all three of these instruments help point out various alcoholism warning signs that may indicate whether or not a person has a serious drinking problem that requires professional attention.

The best advice, however is this: if you exhibit some of the warning signs of alcoholism or you are concerned about your drinking behavior, make an appointment with your family doctor or with your healthcare provider.

He or she will be able to better evaluate your situation and make solid and reasonable recommendations regarding alcohol treatment or the need for additional evaluation.