Nearly 17.6 million people abuse or are dependent on alcohol in the U.S., according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The person who is drinking may not recognize an increase in his drinking or that he is using alcohol as a way to deal with things. The American Psychiatric Association has identified four categories of symptoms as indicators of alcohol abuse. These symptoms must cause impairment, occur within a 12-month period and not be a part of the person’,s dependence on a substance. Four symptoms of alcoholism.
Failure to Meet Obligations
One of the types of symptoms that can indicate the occurrence of alcohol abuse is a recurrent failure to meet personal obligations. These obligations can be at work, school or home. In some cases, the person doesn’,t show up at all. Or, she is able to attend work or school, but her performance has declined due to her drinking. Over time, the person may begin to see the consequences of her drinking (e.g., being expelled from school, receiving poor performance ratings or being reprimanded).
Failure to Recognize Appropriate Use
Four classic symptoms of alcoholism
As the abuse progresses, it becomes difficult for the person to identify that he is abusing alcohol due to the regular occurrences of his drinking. In severe cases, some people will drink anytime, anyplace, even when it’,s not safe (e.g., in the car while driving, at work or while operating a machine or electronic device).
Development of Legal Problems
In some cases, the person is no longer able to recognize the boundaries of her behavior. This inability can yield legal problems related to her drinking such as driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, public intoxication or causing a disturbance.
Blending of Interpersonal Issues
It is usually inevitable that the family or friends of the person who is drinking will also start to notice his behavior and the consequences he is facing (such as those mentioned above), and want to help. They may confront him to offer help and inform him of how his behavior is affecting them. He may stop drinking temporarily or decrease the amount he drinks, but usually returns to drinking in his previous manner. This is a hallmark symptom that the person has a clear problem with alcohol and most likely is engaging in alcohol abuse.