When in relationship with an alcoholic, whether it’s a working relationship, romantic, or a family member, you will notice changes in them. Behaviors of alcoholics include how much they drink as well as their drinking patterns. This can range from binge drinking, heavy social drinking, alcohol abuse and alcoholism. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states the following is normal or low risk drinking. Anything more would indicate that there is a degree of problem drinking when someone consistently exceeds these numbers:For women, more than seven drinks per week is considered a problem. For men, it’s 14 drinks per week.

Binge drinking

The definition of binge drinking is when women drink up to 4 drinks in a 2-hour sitting. For men, It’s 5.Heavy alcohol use is when binge drinking occurs 5 or more times in a 30-day period.

While some people have yet to reach alcoholism, that doesn’t mean that the signs someone is drinking regularly should be ignored. Their behaviors are considered to be high-risk drinking and they are likely well on their way to becoming addicted to alcohol. Anyone who consistently binge drinks at least once a week are considered high-risk drinkers. They are much more likely to develop alcoholism than others are. They’re also more likely to turn to alcohol should they face dire circumstances and scenarios in the future.

What are Drinking Behaviors?

  • Typical behaviors of alcoholics are often things that people will do when drinking has gotten out of control. While alcohol can cause many of us to be risky, it is when this becomes a daily occurrence for the problem drinker that it needs to be investigated and addressed. Drinking behaviors are things people do while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol changes how the brain functions so people might commit hurtful or illegal acts unintentionally while drunk. These behaviors include:
  • Abusive acts including emotional, physical, and verbal abuse.
  • They will likely do secret drinking.
  • They might be neglectful.
  • More likely to start fights or physically assault others.
  • They may be illogical and say hurtful things with no recollection the next day.
  • They may drive drunk or get in a car with a drunk driver.
  • There may be irresponsible sexual activity such as unprotected sex or sexual assault.
  • They risk their own safety as well as others’ safety.
  • They may commit crimes.

So Why Are these Alcoholic Symptoms?

  • An in-depth study about what alcoholism does to the brain found some unarguable proof. Drinking causes people to act differently sometimes. Many people will become more excited and happy. When someone drinks too often, their brain changes and they can exhibit poor judgment and risky behavior as part of signs of alcoholism. This becomes a constant problem in their daily life because the brain has been affected.
  • Cognitive test scores, and MRI scans within the study revealed that the hippocampus area of the brain shrinks. This is the part of the brain responsible for reasoning and memory. For someone who had four or more drinks per day, they were 6 times more at risk of hippocampus shrinking than non-drinkers. A moderate drinker was only 3 times more likely than a non-drinker was. Signs of an alcoholic personality may be explained due to the fast decline of cognitive performance. Test showed that heavy drinkers quickly declined in their ability to name as many words that began with a specific letter in a minute.
  • There is a very obvious effect of alcohol on behavior. It can change the way someone acts and his or her personality may even change. In fact, many crimes are committed while a person was under the influence. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), the offenders in 37% of rapes and sexual assaults were intoxicated. The reports also show that 15% of robberies, 27% of aggravated assaults, and 25% simple assaults involved alcohol use by the offender. Even those who are usually calm and levelheaded can become aggressive and violent when intoxicated. Alcohol can drastically change a person.
  • It’s important to note that some people can get away with being a high-functioning alcoholic. The signs of alcoholism are quite mild with someone like this. That’s why it’s so important to be aware. It may be difficult to even notice signs of alcohol abuse among these individuals. They are able to go about their daily lives as if they were sober.
  • Many high-functioning alcoholics are even able to hold important jobs. For example, some may work in law enforcement, while others may work in the medical field. The problem is, they are still taking big risks on their health. They are still ruining their kidneys and liver when drinking regularly the way they do. If you suspect someone is drinking too much but they hold it together, they are still in the midst of an unhealthy addiction that they have no control of.

Beyond The Bell Elevator Speech


Beyond The Bell’s focus is on the health and safety of young people ages 9-20 and their parents.  Beyond The Bell provides LifeSkills training and other programs to ensure youth live happy and safe lives and use the tools we provide to enjoy activities that exclude alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and other drugs.   

We use evidence-based strategies to build skills and support the needs of young people and thus reduce barriers to their success.

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