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10 Major Physical Signs of Alcoholism

10 Major Physical Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a word used to describe a condition where a person cannot control their alcohol intake. This condition is also known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Persons who have this disorder are addicted to alcohol and can hardly stop drinking. The addiction makes their craving for alcohol hard to ignore.

Having a beer or glass of wine is an excellent way to unwind after a long day for several people. It is also customary to head into a bar for drinks to celebrate with friends or have a chill weekend.

Now the question is, does occasional drinking make you an alcoholic? No, it doesn’t. However, having more than three to four drinks every day can make your body dependent on alcohol. From there, it could become a slippery slope. So, it would help if you learned the common signs of alcoholism as it is key to protecting yourself, your friends, and your family. Here is a guide to the significant physical symptoms of alcoholism to watch out for.

10 Major Physical Signs of Alcoholism

Can Anybody Be an Alcoholic?

Anyone who drinks alcohol can become an alcoholic. However, not everyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic. Alcoholism is common in people who start drinking at a young age. It could become difficult to break the habit, thus resulting in alcohol use disorder or a state similar to drug addiction.

10 Physical Signs of Alcoholism

Each person has a slightly different reaction to alcohol. However, some significant physical signs can help you identify alcoholism. Knowing these signs of addiction to alcohol is important because it can help you get quick access to treatments and achieve recovery. It is also helpful in protecting friends and family who may be affected.


You may have heard someone use the expression “I was so drunk that I blacked out” Well, a blackout is simply alcohol-induced amnesia. What happens is that such a person is so intoxicated that he forgets all the things he did during the blackout.

People experiencing blackouts are usually conscious of what goes around them. They can also remember events that happened before they became so drunk. However, they may not exercise much control over their actions since they are drunk.

Although not all blackouts are AUD-induced, it can be a sign that the level of alcohol in your blood is high. So, if a person experiences blackouts, it is an indicator that they drink too much alcohol.

Constant bruising or Injuries

Alcohol affects the part of the brain that ensures coordination. So when drunk, people are usually unsteady, distracted, or clumsy. This often results in constant injuries and scrapes. In addition, since they were intoxicated, they may not remember how they got the injuries.

This is particularly dangerous because an alcoholic can get severely injured. So, watch for unexplained injuries, particularly if they occur often.

Poor appearance

Alcoholics pay less attention to their appearance and health. So, you may find such people observing poor physical hygiene and caring less about their health. They could appear at work, forget to shower, or have no clean clothes. Mental coordination could also be affected. Therefore, they could do poorly at work or become poor at sports or activities they used to be good at.

Unstable weight gain

Alcohol abuse affects each person’s body differently. For some, they find that their appetite for meals is low. This can result in drastic weight loss, mainly because they would replace regular nutrition with alcohol. However, alcohol increases the craving for foods containing lots of fat in some other cases. So, you may observe an unusual increase in weight.

Having such rapid changes in body weight can be unhealthy. If the body receives little food, it will be getting very little nutrition. And this can weaken the immune system. On the other hand, a heavy intake of fatty foods can damage one’s liver and kidneys.

Slurred speech

You may have experienced occasional moments of slow speech after a drink or two. Usually, this stops when the effects of alcohol have worn off your body. However, alcoholics often maintain this lack of coordination since they drink pretty frequently. So, they may not form coherent sentences, or their words would sound slurred.

Slow reflexes

Another effect of the lack of coordination caused by alcohol is that addicts often lose control over reflexes. Therefore, they may not handle tools, play games, or respond to stimuli appropriately.

Lack of interest

When a man or woman becomes addicted to alcohol, it consumes their interest in several other things. As a result, they begin to crave more alcohol while losing interest in other activities. Usually, such people are withdrawn from activities they would typically like to participate in. This is because the desire to drink makes everything else irrelevant, even the most important things.


Anxiety is one of the significant flags of alcohol withdrawal. So, heavy drinkers often experience increased pressure when they stop drinking alcohol. This can be caused by the unfulfilled craving for a drink. Sometimes, it could also result from having too much alcohol in your body. As explained earlier, each person responds differently to alcohol. So if you observe increased levels of anxiety in everyday situations, it could be due to an AUD.

Unhealthy-looking skin

Jaundiced skin is a common sign of alcohol abuse. This is when the eyes and skin have a yellowish shade. Usually, this is an indication that the liver has been compromised. Another bodily sign is the redness of the nose and cheeks and pronounced veins on the neck and hands.


When alcohol is consumed constantly, the human body becomes tolerant of it. This means that you would have to increase your substance intake to feel the effects of a drink. The increasing need for alcohol also creates a dependency. One may be unable to control their need for more alcohol.

In such instances, people experience withdrawal signs if they stop drinking. This includes vomiting, constant shaking of the hands or body, nausea, and seizures. Unfortunately, people who go through withdrawal are often alcohol addicts and need all the support they can get.

10 Major Physical Signs of Alcoholism


Alcoholism is dangerous, not only for people who drink too much but also for people around them. So, if you are experiencing these signs, now is the time to seek a help program.

At ecosoberhouse.com, you will find a community of people as well as resources to support your journey to recovery and sobriety. In addition, we offer programs designed to accommodate and care for each person according to their needs. To learn more, please contact us.

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