How to Recognize the Signs of Alcoholism

How to Recognize the Signs of Alcoholism

Alcohol is a socially acceptable part of everyday life for many Canadians. Many people enjoy alcohol, in fact, according to Canada’s Public Health Services 80% of Canadians drink alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, alcohol is also the most abused drug in Canada. While drinking alcohol is legal and it may start as a pleasurable, fun activity, it can lead to an addiction very easily.  

Canada’s Public Health Services also claims that almost 2% of all deaths in Canada were related to alcohol abuse in 2008. In the same year, impaired driving was the leading cause of criminal death in Canada. Sadly, alcohol-related disorders were the largest cause of hospitalization in Canada in 2011.

What is Alcoholism?

So, if 80% of Canadians enjoy a drink every now and then, what exactly makes someone an alcoholic? The Government of Canada defines risky drinking as drinking that could lead to long-term negative health effects. They claim the amount is usually more than 15 drinks a week for men, and 10 drinks a week for women. Or, more than 3 drinks a day for men and more than 2 drinks a day for women. Many people may have an addiction if they find it hard to function through their daily life without alcohol – regardless of quantity.

Man in need of an alcohol intervention

Signs of Alcoholism

People who are struggling with alcohol abuse may try to hide their struggles for a number of reasons. However, there are a few signs of alcoholism you can look for if you suspect someone you love is struggling with alcohol consumption.

Tolerance For Alcohol

Yes, even though alcoholics are consuming large amounts of alcohol, they usually start to build up a tolerance for alcohol over time. This means that the same amount of alcohol may affect someone less as they continue to drink over time, or that more alcohol is required to achieve the same effect.

Hiding Alcohol

If you catch someone you love drinking alcohol in a place where it is normally prohibited (such as work or school), they may be a binge drinker, an alcoholic, or on the verge of becoming either. They may try to hide their drinking habit because they recognize its wrong, but they feel shameful that they have no control over their addiction.


If someone is consistently absent from normal activities in life such as work or school, it is almost always a bad sign of something. It could be a sign of drug or alcohol addiction or depression. If someone you know is isolating themselves from others and consistently absent, they may be in need of an intervention and treatment.

Severe Mood Swings

Managing an alcohol issue can be stressful for an alcoholic both physically and mentally. Alcohol is a depressant and can cause anxiety, anger, and even violence. Addicts may also remember when drinking was fun and pleasurable, not an addiction they felt powerless over. This can also cause feelings of anger and remorse.

Avoiding Situations That Don’t Involve Alcohol

For someone addicted to alcohol, going too long without a drink may mean they start to experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms could include anxiety, sweating, shaking and nausea.

Dangerous Behaviour

Drinking too much or too often may cause those struggling with an alcohol addiction to do things they may not otherwise, such as drunk driving. Alcohol impairs judgement and self-control and could cause individuals to come into legal issues while under the influence.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Like any addiction, quitting excessive drinking can be difficult. Deciding to quit is quickly followed by withdrawal symptoms that we mentioned above. However, making this decision is a short-term loss, for a long-term gain. Addiction is not an inescapable pattern of behaviour; it is possible to quit and begin enjoying life again.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, intervention may be necessary. Andy and his team of interventionists have helped hundreds of people quit their addictions, and get their lives back. Substance abuse rarely only affects those who are addicted; effects of alcoholism on families can be devastating too. Andy also provides counselling for family members affected as well.

Andy Bhatti also offers personalized addiction services to help struggling individuals that aren’t able to do residential treatment due to their job or family life. He is able to provide a doctor’s note for individuals to give to their workplace if they wish to discreetly deal with their addictions.

Andy Bhatti Interventions and Addiction Services interventionists have been helping many addicts get clean and sober for more than 10 years. Andy specializes in counselling services and drug interventions in Vancouver. In addition to BC intervention services, he also provides services throughout Canada. If you or someone you care about needs help, contact Andy today.

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