What to look for: Problematic Alcohol Use
Learn about the thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms linked to problematic alcohol use.
- Believe you need alcohol to have fun or relax
- Believe you’re more interesting or fit in better when you drink
- Think you should cut down your drinking
- Get annoyed when people criticize your drinking
- Feel guilty about your drinking
- Use alcohol to escape from your worries or problems
- Spend a lot of time getting, using or recovering from alcohol
- Find it hard to control or cut down drinking
- Have problems with work, school, or relationships because of drinking
- Increase your use of alcohol – the number of drinks or how often you drink
- Stop doing activities that were once fun or important to you
Physical Signs add
- Need to drink more to feel the same effect
- Have blackouts – not remembering what happened when you’ve had too much to drink
- Experience health problems, like alcohol poisoning or alcohol is affecting a previous health condition
Not everyone experiences the same set of symptoms or to the same level. A person may be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder if symptoms continue, are very distressing and interfere in a person’s life.
If you are able to spot these symptoms and take action, it can prevent problems from getting worse.
Concerned about someone else?
It can be difficult to understand why a friend uses alcohol or substances so often. Friends and families are often the first to notice changes and become concerned. For information on how to help a friend, visit Concerned About a Friend’s Alcohol or Substance Use. For information on how to support a young person, visit Supporting a Family Member.
If you want to find out if this is something you are experiencing or are looking for tips for safer alcohol use here are a few options.