Alcohol dependence can involve any of the following symptoms or behaviors: Having long episodes of intoxication Drinking alone Having work problems or financial problems caused by drinking Losing interest in food Being careless about personal appearance Having blackouts Driving drunk Hurting oneself or someone else while intoxicated Hiding liquor bottles and glasses to hide the evidence of drinking Experiencing mood or personality changes
Because large amounts of alcohol can be toxic to the body (for example, the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal or nervous systems), alcoholism also may cause physical symptoms:
Morning nausea or shaking Signs of malnutrition due to a poor diet Abdominal pain or diarrhea A flushed red color to the face and palms Numbness, weakness or tingling in the arms or legs Unusually frequent accidental injuries, especially falls
To help determine whether someone has an alcohol problem, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends taking the CAGE test.
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