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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the signs of an alcoholic?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Colleen Morris


    Colleen Morris is a Clinical Family Therapist and Counsellor in Geelong, Victoria. Colleen works with individuals, couples and families, to promote growth, wellness and potential. … View Profile

    An alcoholic is a peron who is alcohol-dependent.

    Some of the signs of an alcoholic include

    • Being unable to relax or approach social situations without alcohol  
    • Being unable to sleep without alcohol 
    • Feeling confused and having difficulty making decisions
    • Experiencing memory loss
    • Feeling tired, stressed, angry  or anxious all the time
    • Experiencing constant conflict in their relationship
    • Experiencing cravings for alcohol 

  • 2


    I am a psychologist who is passionate about supporting people to move toward well being and a genuine connection to their lives.I completed my education … View Profile

    For many people who are experiencing a problem with alcohol or any other substance issue, there can be a real desire to keep it hidden and under control. They want to be able to function, to work and care for their loved ones and for some this is possible for a while.

    Most of the measures that we do use to identify someone who is experiencing a problem with alcohol look at frequency, quantity and duration. In other words, how often, how much and how long has the drinking been there? They help to identify if there's actually a problematic pattern that's been there for a while. This pattern can be an indicator that the person has developed a dependency on alcohol.

    Some of the other signs that you may notice;

    - is a need to use alcohol in a number of situations, including, social interactions or simply to relax or sleep,
    - experiencing confusion, memory loss, disturbed sleep or significant changes in mood,
    - experiencing cravings for alcohol,
    - increased conflict in relationships,
    - increased reliance on alcohol to manage or cope with day to day situations.

  • 2


    Mary-Anne Wallace

    Counselling Psychologist, Psychologist

    Working with individuals and couples including FIFOI possess a Masters degree and am registered with the Psychology Board of Australia with endorsement in the area … View Profile

    A simple formula to determine whether you or someone else has a problem with alcohol or drugs is to use what we call the “four L's”. These are Liver, Lover, Livelihood and Law

    Liver = health - is the alcohol use at a level where it is impacting on the persons health?
    Lover = relationships - are relationships being damaged by the drinking?
    Livelihood = Does the person perform poorly at work, have days off due to drinking or has their drinking rendered them unable to work?
    Law = Have they broken the law or come into contact with the police due to their behaviour while intoxicated.

    If the answer to any of these is yes then that means the level of alcohol use is problematic and needs to be addressed. This might mean ceasing use altogether or learning to exert more control over the amount and frequency of drinking. Each state has an Alochol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) that will give further information including contact numbers for agencies that offer counselling and support.

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