Alcoholism: Signs, Symptoms & Risks

Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

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Drinking alcohol is widely accepted within our society, and its ability to lower inhibitions and relax the mind is what many people find appealing. For those suffering from addiction to alcohol however, having just one drink can result in serious physical, psychological, and social consequences.

If you’re concerned about a person’s relationship with alcohol, then call CATCH Recovery London to speak in confidence to a trained professional. We are here to help, make recommendations and find the right treatment for you or your loved one.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

The signs of alcoholism can be difficult to notice, especially in a functioning alcoholic. If you’re concerned about your drinking habits or suspect a loved one may have a problem with alcohol, some of the most common signs that could indicate a drinking problem are listed below:

Alcohol is a psychoactive drug with mind-altering properties, and long-term abuse can result in tolerance. Tolerance to alcohol occurs when you no longer experience the same physical effects from drinking and therefore require higher quantities in order to achieve the same effects as you once did.

As you increase the amount you drink, the possibility of experiencing negative consequences also increases. Alcohol abuse can result in aggressive and uncharacteristic behaviour that can also impact family, friends, and work colleagues. Due to significantly reduced inhibitions, one of the biggest risks associated with alcohol abuse is drunk driving. This not only puts the driver in danger but also the passengers in the car, pedestrians, other road users and can often lead to fatal accidents and criminal convictions.

Someone misusing alcohol on a daily basis will often attempt to hide their drinking because of the stigma still associated with alcoholism. This in turn can lead to isolation and depression.

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Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

The physical symptoms of alcoholism are difficult to disguise long-term. Sustained alcohol abuse can lead to alcohol poisoning, liver failure as well as many other physical complications. The intake of such a vast number of calories can cause bloating, reddening of the face and excessive sweating. Perspiration is often a result of your system trying to eliminate the toxins that have built up over time. For someone physically dependent on alcohol, this could also indicate the body’s need for more.

Over time and if the addiction is left untreated, symptoms will become more serious and can eventually be fatal.

Symptoms of alcohol use include:

Accidents and injuries caused by excessive drinking are commonly reported in A&E departments, some of which can be fatal. This is due to alcohol’s ability to impair physical coordination, and lowers inhibitions, often leading to dangerous consequences.


  • Forgetfulness
  • Disinterest in hobbies or activities
  • Drinking alone
  • Secret drinking
  • Drinking throughout day
  • Inability to fulfill responsibilities
  • Appearing tired, irritable and unwell
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Risky behaviour
  • Legal troubles
  • Interpersonal relationship challenges
  • Depression
  • Deceptive behaviour
  • Quick changes in mood


  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Alcohol breath
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy/swollen face
  • Memory loss
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent hangovers
  • Seizures
  • Clammy skin
  • Sweating
  • Tremors, involuntary shaking

Risks of Alcohol Abuse

If you’re finding that alcohol has taken priority over other important aspects of your life, such as family, friends, work and is beginning to affect your health, it’s time to seek help. Alcoholism is a progressive disease that can develop rapidly if not addressed.

Unfortunately, many people suffering from alcohol addiction avoid seeking help because of the guilt and shame attached to this illness. If you’re struggling with alcoholism or feel concerned about your drinking habits or those of a loved one, remember that you’re not alone. While seeking help may initially feel overwhelming, treatment for alcohol addiction is available in many forms, whether you choose outpatient treatment, free drug and alcohol services or support groups.

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Once you’ve decided you no longer wish to live your life stuck in the unrelenting cycle of alcohol addiction, CATCH Recovery is here to help you on your path to recovery.

Our outpatient clinic is located in central London. We provide referrals to rehabs in other areas in the UK, Ireland, Sweden and The Netherlands.

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