Signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include having blackouts when drinking, causing injury or harm to others when drinking, or experiencing problems at school or work because of the need to drink alcohol, explains WebMD. Individuals may be abusing alcohol when health problems become worse because of drinking, or friends and family members are concerned about drinking habits.
People who engage in risky behavior, such as driving while intoxicated, may be abusing alcohol as well, according to WebMD. Signs of an addiction or dependence on alcohol include drinking more and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as shakiness, anxiety, sweating or a sick feeling in the stomach, when sober. People who give up activities to drink, spend significant time drinking and recovering, or those who cannot quit drinking or control the amount of alcohol consumed exhibit signs of alcohol addiction.
Alcohol abuse or addiction often exists when people drink alone, drink in the morning or find themselves drunk for extended periods of time, explains WebMD. People who feel guilty after drinking or make excuses for their drinking may be abusing alcohol. Addicts commonly find themselves hiding the amount they drink or buying alcohol at different stores to prevent people from seeing them. Physical signs of alcohol dependence include redness of the cheeks and nose, gastritis or an upset stomach, and weight loss.