Problem Drinking


Moderate Drinkers Typically:

  • Drink slowly (no fast gulping)
  • Know when to stop drinking (do not drink to get drunk)
  • Eat before or while drinking
  • Never drive after drinking
  • Respect nondrinkers
  • Know and obey laws related to drinking

Problem Drinkers:*

  • Frequently drink to get drunk
  • Try to “solve” problems by drinking
  • Experience personality changes- may become loud, angry or violent, OR silent, remote or reclusive
  • Drink when they should no- before driving, or going to class or work
  • Cause other problems- harm themselves, family, friends and strangers

People Addicted to Alcohol Typically:*

  • Spend a lot of time thinking about drinking and planning where and when to get the next drink
  • Keep bottles hidden for quick pick-me-ups
  • Start drinking without conscious planning and lose awareness of the amount consumed
  • Deny drinking
  • Often drink alone
  • Feel they need to drink before facing a stressful situation
  • May have “blackouts”- cannot remember what they did while drinking although they may have appeared “normal” to people at the time
  • Miss work or skip class as a result of hangovers or choosing to drink
  • Go from having hangovers to more dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens (“DTs”), which can be fatal
  • Have or cause major problems- with the police, an employer, family or friends

If you have experience any of the symptoms in the last two categories, it may be time to ask for some help with your drinking.

Here are some resources for help with drinking: