Signs of Drug Abuse Series 4 – Alcohol

Welcome back to the “Signs of Drug Abuse” series. We’ve already looked at the signs of marijuana, cocaine & heroin use; now, we’re taking a closer look at alcohol and the symptoms users display.

Alcohol is the most common, readily available “drug” there is. It’s the most abused addictive substance, with 1 in 8 adults meeting the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). While many of us have drank alcohol at some point in our lives, binge drinking (occasionally drinking excessive amounts of alcohol) can be fatal, and is responsible for the majority of road traffic deaths.

If you’re worried that someone at work may be showing signs of alcoholism, here are some key indicators that may help you decide:

Blackouts and short-term memory loss. Those who drink excessively may not remember details from the night before.

Irritability or extreme mood swings. Drinking, or the period after drinking, can cause bad tempers due to feeling tired or poorly.

Making excuses for drinking. People who drink excessively may feel the need to explain themselves by blaming social engagements or needing alcohol to ‘relax’ or ‘feel normal’.

Being put off food. Those who drink a lot may feel too hungover to eat food the next day.

Alcoholic smell. Their breath or clothes may smell of alcohol.

Sickness. Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause vomiting, headaches and tiredness.

If you’re worried someone you know or work with is drinking excessively, it’s important to seek help – not only for their safety, but for yours too. We recommend speaking in confidence to your HR department or manager for advice – be as sensitive and professional as possible.

If you’re unsure what action to take, you can give SureScreen a call for private, confidential advice on 01332 365318.