Rehab Centres UK

The Main Symptoms Of An Alcohol Addiction

Nicholas Conn
Nicholas Conn

Nicholas is a leading addiction expert UK's go-to man on related matters for the national press, TV and radio.

The Main Symptoms of an Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol misuse refers to the way someone drinks alcohol in a way that can cause them harm. Being dependent on alcohol leads to serious health risks. It is advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week and if you cannot control this, then it may be time to seek help.

Rehab Centres UK can assist anyone who may be struggling with an alcohol problem. Freedom from alcohol can help individuals get their lives back on track, we offer a range of services including tailored treatment plans to suit your or a loved one’s needs.

In this article, we will discuss the main symptoms of alcohol addiction, so you can identify a problem quickly and more easily in yourself or someone you know.


What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction is considered a disease, if someone suffers from alcohol addiction it will affect all aspects of their life. Alcohol addiction has no single cause, but psychological, genetic and behavioural factors can all contribute to alcohol addiction.

Alcoholism causes change to the brain and neurochemistry, hence a person with an alcohol addiction may not be able to control their actions.

The severity of someone’s addiction can show itself in a variety of ways including how often someone drinks and the amount of alcohol they consume in one session. Some people drink heavily all day, while others can binge drink and then stay sober for a while.

Regardless of drinking patterns with addiction, if someone has an alcohol addiction they will heavily rely on drinking and can’t stay sober for an extended period.


Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction so you can spot a problem in someone. It can sometimes be tricky to spot the signs of alcohol dependence. People with an alcohol disorder can be secretive about their drinking.

Confronting someone with an addiction can be tough, as the person may become defensive or angry when confronted.

Signs to look for that are often used by doctors to assess whether someone is dependent on alcohol and cannot regulate their drinking includes the following:


  • Impaired control over alcohol use – not being able to control how long a drinking session is, how much is consumed or how frequent along with how they are unable to stop once they start drinking
  • Prioritising alcohol – if alcohol comes before other daily activities and responsibilities including the person’s health
  • Drinking at inappropriate times, occasions or places
  • Avoiding situations where there will be no alcohol
  • Changes in friendships and relationships – choosing to spend time with others who drink heavily
  • Hiding alcohol
  • Depending on alcohol to function in everyday life
  • Increased lethargy, depression or other emotional issues
  • Loss of job
  • Avoiding contact with loved ones


Take note of any patterns of the above symptoms in yourself or someone you know. Usually, this is based on behaviour over a 12-month period or longer. Dependency on alcohol could be diagnosed with continuous use of alcohol over a 3-month period.

If you think you may be drinking too much, or if your drinking is beginning to have a damaging effect on your life, it is time to get some help.


If You Think You Know Someone Dependent

If someone close to you is displaying signs of alcohol dependence, we understand that it can be difficult to know what to do. It is normal to feel worried about them, frustrated if they don’t want to receive help or even frightened by their behaviour.

If you can, you should talk honestly with the person you are concerned about and try to persuade them to see a doctor. It can be extremely difficult for people who are dependent on alcohol to admit they have a problem.

Being supportive and non-judgemental is the best way to be with someone who has an alcohol problem, it can help them to feel safe.


Treating Alcohol Addiction

Those with an alcohol problem need to get treated to overcome their alcohol dependency. The first step in treating anyone with alcohol dependence is for the drinker to acknowledge that they have a problem.

Contacting a rehabilitation centre will be beneficial as they will be able to assess the situation with alcoholism and then provide you with the medical assistance needed to help an individual become sober.

Consuming lots of alcohol regularly puts a big strain on your physical and mental health. By starting alcohol rehab, you can address the root of your addiction and over time, stop drinking.

You will receive medical and physical help along your entire rehab journey, you will not be in this alone. With fantastic support, along with your willpower, self-discipline and determination, you are more than capable of achieving sobriety.

The rehabilitation process is completed in several stages; detox, therapy and aftercare/secondary treatment.



The detoxification part of the process is a key stage of the treatment. Alcohol detox involves stopping drinking and eliminating alcohol from the body completely.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are common to have and can be extremely unpleasant. Medical supervision is often required to ensure you are in safe hands during this stage.



Once the detox stage has been completed, you will move on to the therapy stage. Different kinds of therapies will be on offer at different rehabilitation clinics. Some therapies often on offer include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), group therapies and Holistic Therapies.

Therapy helps in a number of ways, it boosts your confidence whilst strengthening your mental health too. This means you can deal with the psychological and behavioural aspects of your alcohol addiction. Working on your self-belief and confidence improves the likelihood of you kicking your addiction for good.


Aftercare/Secondary Treatment

Returning to society does not mean that you are now on your own. Aftercare is the third and final stage of rehab and you have the option once you leave to continue your treatment as an outpatient – which is always recommended.


Rehab Centres UK

You are not alone if you have an alcohol addiction and reaching out is the first step. Rehab Centres UK helps so many individuals get their lives back. Contact our Rehab Centres UK support line today on 0808 175 7225.

Need Help With Your Addiction?

If you are looking for rehab for your addiction, contact our 24/7 support line for help at 0808 175 7225 today.