Recognize Alcoholism Symptoms in You or Someone You Know

Young depressed man

Whether you’re wondering if you could be suffering from alcoholism or are on the outside looking in on a loved one, you may question what alcoholism symptoms and signs are. Some are rather straightforward, such as the physical symptoms of withdrawal, while others are a bit more discrete and take a keen eye to detect. 

Changes in Vitals 

A person’s central nervous system goes into hyperdrive during the detoxification process. As the body craves alcohol and isn’t getting it, the person’s heart rhythm and heart rate may change, causing palpitations and tachycardia. He or she may become warmer than usual. Although it won’t cause symptoms, the person’s blood pressure may rise.  


While some people may only experience tremors in their hands, full-body tremors are possible in people with severe alcohol dependence. This nervous system response can start as early as eight hours after a person’s last drink. 

Nausea and Vomiting

Alcohol changes how a person’s body functions on a chemical level. As the body fights to go back to normal, it can cause nausea and vomiting. 

Nausea and vomiting may start within the first 24 hours of a person refraining from alcohol. 

Seizures and Hallucinations 

Seizures and hallucinations happen in those with severe alcohol problems, particularly those who drank heavily for a prolonged time. 

These alcoholism symptoms happen as the nervous system is struggling to get back to normal. 

Anxiety, Depression, and Agitation

Alcohol changes chemical signaling in the brain, which is what triggers the effects of alcohol. Without alcohol, the brain is fighting to go back to normal. This process can possibly cause alcoholism symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and agitation during the process. 

Continuing Use Despite Negative Effects 

Someone who suffers from alcoholism will continue to use alcohol despite the negative effects it has. For instance, alcohol use could strain the person’s relationships with his or her family and friends, but the person will still continue using.

Continued alcohol use could put a strain on a person’s job or education, but they’ll continue to use despite the detrimental effects. 

Developing a Tolerance

As a person drinks on a regular basis, he or she develops a tolerance. In other words, the person requires more and more alcohol to achieve the same effect. 

Partaking in Risky Behaviors

Alcohol can cause a person to get in precarious situations. For example, a person with an alcohol problem may drink and drive and not think of the consequences. 

Alcoholism symptoms can range from physical to mental withdrawal symptoms to living recklessly and hurting loved ones. Fortunately, there is help available when a person exhibits signs of alcoholism.

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