What is an alcohol addiction and how do you recognise one?  

Posted on: December 31st, 2018

What is an alcohol addiction and how do you recognise one?  

I consider alcohol addiction to be a label and just that. When you label someone an alcoholic, you judge them by your own values. 

  • My mother drinks sometimes on the weekend. Is she an alcoholic?
  • Dad has a couple of drinks every night. Is he an alcoholic?
  • My uncle drinks a bottle of wine every night. Is he an alcoholic? 

You see where I am going with this? 

  • I could label my mother an alcoholic, because I rarely drink
  • My mother could label my dad an alcoholic
  • And my dad could label my uncle an alcoholic. 

It is simply a label that you project someone who drinks more alcohol than you. 

Wayne Dyer said that an addiction is wanting more of something that you don’t really want. 


Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

There is also my definition of an addiction. I consider an alcohol addiction something that has three or more of the following symptoms: 

  1. You develop tolerance to alcohol: meaning that you need to drink more and more to get the same effect 
  2. Get sick or depressed when you don’t drink 
  3. You cannot just drink a little bit, if you drink just a bit you keep going and can’t stop 
  4. You cannot stop 
  5. Drinking is costing more and more time and energy of your life
  6. Your daily activities are being planned based around drinking 
  7. You continue to drink, even tough you know you will get into trouble 

How many of these symptoms do you have? If you have more than 3 I would start to look critically at my life and and be brutally honest with myself. 

You can also recognise this in other people, if you see they have more than 3 of these symptoms. 

Often people who are addicted say they are not. They say they could stop at any time. They are not aware that they keep using it. And if thats the case, you cannot help them. 

You cannot help people who are A) Not aware that they need help and B) They don’t want help. 

What you can do is not to judge them and simply observe. Or perhaps its yourself. Simply observe, be aware. 

If you are a mother, you can be aware when you drink a little too much and what benefits you gain out of it. Perhaps you get benefits of being able to talk to strangers at meetings. Or perhaps you sleep better after you bring your kids to bed. 

Once you know the benefits you are getting of drinking, you can start to look for alternative ways to get the same benefits of drinking. For example, if a benefit of drinking for you is to talk at strangers at meetings you can take a socialising class. You can develop a list of icebreaker questions to ask people at networking meetings. You can visualise yourself before the meeting and seeing yourself as confident without drinking. 

Need help?

If you need any help, I can help you. Visit my website at to book a consultation and I can guide you in more detail through it, without judging you. 

For almost 10 years I was drinking a lot as well, without even being aware of it. So I know what you’re going through and I know that I can help you to reduce your drinking or even to quit if you want to. 

Together we will uncover the hidden benefits and find some empowering alternatives. I will help you to go from over drinking to drinking just a few glasses a week. 

You can contact me at for support. 

Love & wisdom,

Bart out

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