Alcoholic Meaning: Behavior of an Alcoholic

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : December 14, 
| 4 Sources

The distinguishing personality of an alcoholic, meaning their behavior, can be easy to identify in certain people.

  • You are worried about your drinking behavior and think you may be addicted to alcohol
  • You are worried about the drinking behavior of someone you know (and obviously care about) and suspect they may be displaying symptoms and signs of alcoholism.

Behavior of an alcoholic can be easy to identify in certain people.

Those in end stage alcoholism and those suffering from alcohol-induced health problems, display many signs of alcoholism that are hard to miss. These may include withdrawal symptoms, blackouts, and serious problems in functioning at home, work, or school.

Unfortunately identifying whether you or someone you care about is alcoholic is generally not easy if you or they are only in the beginning alcoholism stages.

Also, the alcohol addicted individual is a master of deception and can hide the signs and symptoms of alcoholism even from themselves. This is called alcoholism denial, and that is a huge hindrance to successful treatment for the alcoholic.

On top of this, many alcoholics are functional alcoholics which means they can go about their lives as normal and yet have a hidden addiction to alcohol.

Alcoholics are addicted to alcohol.

It may sound obvious and yet many do not appreciate what this means for the alcohol dependent.

Every living cell in an alcoholic's body is dependent on drink.

The dependent drinker knows in his heart that it is wrong to lie and deceive yet his body (and his brain) crush his soul and heart in pursuit of drink.

The alcoholic believes he will die without alcohol When an individual becomes dependent on alcohol, and he or she couldn’t get a drink, that person would develop and manifest withdrawal symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and anxiety (and in some cases this is true, read alcohol withdrawal symptoms ). Would you not lie and deceive to insure your supply of food and water? So it is with the drink addict.

However, despite the deception and alcoholic engages in to cover his or her drinking, it is possible to spot certain behaviors in people (or yourself )that give a strong indication that someone isn’t just displaying signs of alcohol abuse but that they are an alcoholic. (Read drinking problems to discover the difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism.)

Typical Alcoholic Behavior:

The individual...

  • ...makes excuses to drink - good news, bad news, indifferent news- anything is a reason to drink.
  • ...hides drink around the house. Anywhere that can be used to conceal alcohol is used. The reason being that the drink addict wants to be able to access drink whenever and wherever he/she wants.
  • ...only attends events where it is possible to drink. Parties, bars, friends’ homes etc. are O.K. The cinema, a hike in the mountain are avoided.
  • ...goes to bed late, after their partner. This is an opportunity to drink in peace and without anyone counting.
  • ...gradually starts to drink earlier and earlier during the day (in order to prevent alcoholism withdrawal symptoms.)
  • ...becomes very defensive when questioned about their drinking habits. Often they will become verbally aggressive and sometimes physically aggressive.
  • ...often drinks BEFORE they go out to drink. This is so they get a head start and it doesn’t look as if they are drinking too much in front of other people.

When the dependent drinker reaches end stage alcoholism you don’t need to look for alcoholic behavior in him or her because it is plain to see.

Those suffering from chronic alcoholism are a pathetic sight who live only for drink. They are no longer capable of disguising the fact that they are addicted to drink. They could not even stop or control their drinking din spite of adverse social, health, or occupational consequences.

love an addict Loving an alcoholic is one of the most painful things you will ever have to cope with. Yet, it doesn't need to be, C.P.Lehman in his book, Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict gives you the strategies that will enable you to find happiness and get your life back on well as other skills that are crucial when attempting to cope with an alcohol dependent

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Harvard Health Publishing. Alcohol abuse. December 2014.

Sage Journals. The Alcoholic Denial Syndrome: An Alcohol-Focused Approach. January 1, 1978.

If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:

Return from Alcoholic Behavior to Living with an Alcoholic 

Return to Alcoholism Help Homepage

Alcoholism Help Homepage | What is Alcoholism | Signs of Alcoholism | Alcoholism Tests | Alcohol Abuse Effects | Living with an Addict | Alcoholism Recovery | The AA Way| Alcoholism Cure| Alcoholism Medication | My Story | Alcoholism Guide Blog | Contact Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.