Here are 12 signs of a drinking problem. It’s wise to be aware of these signs. Look for them in yourself or your loved ones.

But first, don’t panic. If you think you or a loved one might have a drinking problem, here is good news.

  • Many people have a problem with their drinking, but few of them are alcoholic.
  • Recognizing the signs of a possible drinking problem can help people head it off.
  • Most people with a drinking problem solve it on their own without any outside help.
  • Most diagnosed alcoholics actually can and do cut back their drinking to lower levels on their own, according to U.S. government research.1

Knowing the signs of a drinking problem enables people to make changes early, when that’s easier to do.

Here are signs to consider. In the past year, have you (count all that apply):

  • Signs of a drinking problemSometimes ended up consuming more alcohol, or drinking for a longer time, than you intended?
  • Sometimes wanted to reduce or stop your drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  • Sometimes done things during or after drinking that were dangerous (such as driving, operating machinery, boating, swimming, using power tools, having unsafe sex, or walking in a dangerous area)?
  • Had to drink much more than in the past to get the same effect as before? Or discovered that the same amount of alcohol has much less effect than before?
  • Continued drinking even when it was making you feel physically or emotionally bad?
  • Had a memory blackout? That is, forgot what you did while drinking?
  • Think you spend too much time drinking or recovering from hangovers?
  • Had trouble with your family or friends because of your drinking?
  • Had problems at work or school because of your drinking?
  • Had problems taking care of your home or family because of your drinking?
  • Quit or cut back on important or pleasurable activities in order to drink?
  • Been arrested, held at a police station, or had any other legal problems associated with your drinking?

The more of these that apply, the more you might be wise to consider cutting back.

Remember that you or your loved one can take effective steps now to reduce alcohol consumption. For concrete suggestions, visit Drink Too Much?

There are also a number of effective or low-cost programs that many people find helpful.

Moderation Management.

SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training)..

HAMS (Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support).


Women for Sobriety.

Rational Recovery.

Life Process Program.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12 step programs are not listed. ¬†They do help some people. But their success rate is less than that from spontaneous remission. Their self-reported rate of 5% is much less than that from no program or treatment. Thats’s about 36%, according to the U.S. federal government.

The bottom line? Be aware of the signs of a drinking problem.


Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Self-Help Information


1. Alcoholics Can Recover from Alcoholism & Drink in Moderation

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Filed Under: Alcoholism General Information