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Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- Repeated problems at work, school, or home due to drinking
- Risking physical safety by drinking in situations that are dangerous, such as driving or operating machinery
- Recurring trouble with the law, such as being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or for physically hurting someone while drunk
- Continuing to drink despite alcohol-related difficulties
- Needing greater amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect
- Giving up activities in order to drink or recover from the effects of alcohol
- Drinking that continues even when it causes or worsens health problems
- Being unable to stop or reduce drinking despite a desire to do so
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Red palms, flushed face
- Spidery veins showing through the skin around the umbilicus and on the face
- Rapid heart rate
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes and/or skin—jaundice, which indicates liver problems
- Enlarged liver and/or spleen
- Nausea, bloating, dyspepsia, and ulcers
- Easy bruising and/or bleeding
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness and tingling
- Impaired memory
- Infertility in both men and women
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased susceptibility to infections and cancer
Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 24, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Alcohol withdrawal. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 6, 2012. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Helpguide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/alcohol%5Fabuse%5Falcoholism%5Fsigns%5Feffects%5Ftreatment.htm. Updated August 2013. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Beyond hangovers: Understanding alcohol's impact on your health. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Hangovers/beyondHangovers.pdf. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Helping patients who drink too much: a clinician’s guide. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/CliniciansGuide2005/guide.pdf. Updated May 2007. Accessed February 24, 2014.
- Reviewer: Peter J. Lucas, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014
- Update Date: 00/22/2014