Alcoholism Warning Signs


More than a few people who drink excessively realize that they have a drinking problem. What many people don't know, however, is whether their drinking problem is essentially a manifestation of alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

We present three self-assessment screening tools that are basically "alcoholism warning signs" that should help clarify this issue.

An Alcoholism and Drug Self-Assessment Tool

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

Stated differently, this 20-question instrument basically contains alcoholism warning signs and drug abuse warning signs to help determine if you, a friend, or a loved one may have a drug or alcohol addiction problem.

It is quite possible that if you find yourself wondering if you really have a drinking or drug problem, you probably do.


If you answer yes to four or more of the following questions, you may be dealing with a definite alcoholism or drug abuse 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?


Ten Alcoholism Warning Signs

Here's another self-assessment tool that contains only 10 questions and focuses on various warning signs of alcoholism.

The following are ten alcoholism warning signs:

  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 hang-overs 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 questions with a "yes," you could be an alcoholic. If you are concerned about your drinking behavior or about your general health, make sure you make an appointment with your healthcare practitioner or doctor for an evaluation and for possible alcoholism treatment.

The Johns Hopkins University Hospital Screening Quiz

A similar instrument that centers on the warning signs of alcoholism contains 20 instead of 10 questions. This instrument is a self-assessment screening quiz developed by Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

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 behavior is harmful and that you can possibly be considered alcoholic or alcohol dependent.

Stated differently, if you answer three of these questions in the affirmative, consider the possibility that your answers are alcoholism warning signs.

As articulated above, if after reviewing the following warning signs of alcoholism you are concerned about your drinking behavior and its effects on your health, you probably should see your doctor or healthcare professional for an alcoholism or alcohol abuse 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 you 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?


Conclusion: Alcoholism Warning Signs

Alcoholism Warning Signs. Many individuals realize that they have a drinking problem. Perhaps the main concern propounded by these individuals, however, is whether they are alcohol dependent or whether they are basically abusing alcohol without being addicted to alcohol.


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

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

He or she will be able to better evaluate your particular situation and make sound and effective recommendations regarding alcohol treatment or further assessment.