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3 signs of alcohol addiction and who is at risk

3 signs of alcohol addiction and who is at risk Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Alcoholism is a serious problem and is caused by frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages and a pathological craving for them. There are certain signs that indicate a person may have an addiction, according to psychologist Vadym Melnyk.

Presence of withdrawal syndrome

Unlike alcohol poisoning, which causes an aversion to alcohol, withdrawal syndrome, commonly known as a hangover, leads to a craving for more alcohol, resulting in physical and emotional relief.

The doctor noted that people drink to feel better. This condition initiates the cycle of binge drinking.

Loss of control over alcohol consumption

In this case, the situations that allow drinking become more frequent, while the factors that inhibit drinking diminish.

People drink more often, alcohol becomes a regular part of the week, and in situations where there is a choice, they are more likely to choose drinking over spending time sober.

Loss of dosage control over consumption

The amount of alcohol consumed increases, and it becomes increasingly difficult to control the dosage.

In such cases, individuals believe they will only have one or two drinks, but they consistently end up drinking more.

The expert pointed out that additional, yet equally important signs include:

  • Increased tolerance to alcohol, requiring larger amounts to feel intoxicated.
  • Continued drinking despite negative consequences.
  • Short-term memory lapses due to alcohol consumption, such as not remembering how they got to a place or having poor recollection of the evening.
  • Loss or reduction of the vomiting reflex even after consuming large amounts of alcohol.
  • When loved ones say you drink too much or you start to think you may be drinking too much and it could be a problem.

If you notice these signs in yourself, it is advisable to consult a narcologist and a psychologist who specializes in addiction treatment.

Who is at risk of developing alcohol addiction

People with certain genetic traits

If a person has metabolic disorders or certain hereditary diseases that weaken the body, alcohol is processed faster by the body and dependence can develop within a few years.


Women have less water in their bodies than men of similar body mass, resulting in a higher concentration of alcohol in their blood more quickly. Therefore, if a man and a woman drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration will be higher, and she will become intoxicated faster.

Elderly people

With age, alcohol is absorbed more slowly in the body. As a result, it remains in the body longer.