Signs of Alcoholism


Numerous people who drink excessively realize that they have a drinking problem.

What many people don't know, however, is if their drinking problem is basically alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

We present three self-assessment screening tools that point to the "signs of alcoholism" or the warning signs of alcoholism that may help clarify this issue.

After reviewing these instruments, no mater if it looks like you may or may not be alcohol dependent, please make an appointment with your healthcare professional and discuss your drinking behavior with him or her.

An Alcoholism and/or Drug Self-Assessment Tool

The following self-assessment tool may help you identify whether or not you have an alcohol or drug addiction problem.


Stated differently, this self-assessment tool may help uncover whether or not you exhibit signs of alcoholism or drug abuse.

Use this 20-question instrument to help determine if you, a friend, or a loved one may have a drug or alcohol addiction problem.

Chances are that if you find yourself wondering if you really have a drinking or drug problem, you probably do.

If you answer yes to 4 or more of these questions, you may be dealing with a definite drug or alcohol problem.

  1. Has alcohol or drug use ever caused problems with work, school, or caring for your children?

  2. Has your drug use or drinking ever created a problem in your relationships (fights with spouse, children, other problems with those you love)?

  3. Have you ever had legal trouble because of your drug use or drinking (Possession, DUI, Public Drunkenness, etc)?

  4. Has using caused you to make new friends and lose old friendships, created an unsatisfying feeling of loneliness or isolation?

  5. Do you seek inferior companions while drinking or using drugs?

  6. Have you ever tried to quit drinking or using drugs?

  7. Have you ever been hospitalized for drinking or using drugs?

  8. Do you suffer from memory loss as a result of drinking or using drugs?

  9. Do you often think about how or when you will next drink or use drugs?

  10. Do you have cravings for alcohol or drugs first thing in the morning?

  11. Is there any recurring time during the day when you find yourself thinking of drinking or using drugs?

  12. Do you feel lack of motivation that you once had because of drinking or using drugs?

  13. Do you ever suffer from insomnia?

  14. Do you ever suffer from blackouts?

  15. Do you drink or use drugs when you are alone?

  16. Do you ever feel guilty after drinking or using drugs?

  17. Have you gained a reputation drinker, partier, or drug user?

  18. Do you try to overcome shyness or become more confident by drinking or using drugs?

  19. Do you sometimes stay intoxicated or high on drugs for days at a time?

  20. When sober, do you sometimes regret things you have said or done while under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

Source: Alcoholism Self Assessment

Ten Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Here's another self-assessment tool that discusses 10 warning signs of alcoholism, contains only 10 questions, and pertains only to alcoholism:

The following are ten warning signs of alcoholism:

  1. Do you ever drink after telling yourself you won't?

  2. Does your drinking worry your family?

  3. Do you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?

  4. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?

  5. Do you get headaches or have hangovers after drinking?

  6. Does your drinking ever make you late for work?

  7. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?

  8. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?

  9. Do you ever forget what you did while you were drinking?

  10. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

If you answer even one of these "alcoholism warning signs" with a "yes," you could be an alcoholic.

Stated another way, if you answer one or more of these "alcoholic signs," you may have a serious drinking problem.

If you are concerned about your drinking or your health, make sure you make an appointment with your doctor or healthcare professional for an evaluation and for possible alcohol treatment.

Source: Ten Warning Signs of Alcoholism

The Johns Hopkins University Hospital Screening Quiz

Alcoholism Signs. A similar instrument that contains 20 instead of 10 questions is a self-assessment screening quiz by Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

This is another tool that can help uncover whether or not you possess any of the signs of alcoholism.

According to the Office of Health Care Programs, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, the creators of this tool, if you answer 3 of these questions with a "Yes" it is a strong indication that your drinking patterns are harmful and that you can possibly be considered alcohol dependent or alcoholic.

As outlined above, if you are concerned about your alcohol abuse signs and/or your alcoholism signs and the effects of your drinking behavior on your health, you probably should see your doctor or healthcare professional for an assessment.

  1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?

  2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?

  3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?

  4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?

  5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?

  6. Have you had financial difficulties as a result of drinking?

  7. Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?

  8. Do you turn to inferior companions and environments when drinking?

  9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?

  10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?

  11. Do you want a drink the next morning?

  12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

  13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?

  14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?

  15. Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble?

  16. Do you drink alone?

  17. Have you ever had a loss of memory as a result of drinking?

  18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?

  19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?

  20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?

Source: 20 Alcoholism Questions


Conclusion: Signs of Alcoholism

Many people realize that they have a drinking problem.

Perhaps the main concern posed by these individuals, however, is whether they are alcohol dependent or if they are basically abusing alcohol without being addicted to alcohol.

The two 20-question self-assessment instruments and the "ten warning signs of alcoholism" presented above may help clarify the issue.

The best advice, however is this: if you are concerned about your drinking behavior, make an appointment with your family doctor or healthcare practitioner.

He or she will be able to better evaluate your particular circumstance and make sound and helpful suggestions regarding treatment or further evaluation.