Fulton County Logo
Contact the County
Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities banner

FC Home Symptoms & Warning Signs Alcohol Abuse and Dependence


Below is information that has been re-printed from WebMD (www.webmd.com) on alcohol abuse and dependence.   If you are concerned that you, or someone that you know, may have a problem with substance abuse, please call the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities at (404) 613-3675.   Our Behavioral Health Access & Information Line is available Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.   If you need assistance after those hours, please call the Georgia Crisis & Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.    



Alcohol Abuse

According to WebMD, even if you do not drink very often, it's still possible to be abusing alcohol and to be at risk for becoming addicted.   The information below focuses on alcohol abuse in adults.   To learn more about  alcohol abuse in teens or adolescents, please visit our website - www.oakhillkids.org  - that discusses  behavioral health services that we provide for youth at the Fulton County Oak Hill Child, Adolescent & Family Center.  



According to WebMD, the following are signs of alcohol abuse:

  • You have problems at work or school because of your drinking. ¬† These may include being late or absent, being injured at work, and not doing your job or schoolwork as well as you can
  • You drink in dangerous situations, such as before or while driving a car
  • You have blackouts. ¬† This means that after ¬†a drinking episode, you cannot remember what happened while you were drinking
  • You have legal problems because of your drinking, such as being arrested for harming someone or ¬†driving while drunk
  • You get hurt or you hurt someone else when you are drinking
  • You continue to drink despite health problems that are caused or made worse by alcohol use, such as liver disease (cirrhosis)
  • Your friends or family members are worried about your drinking


Alcohol Addiction

  • You cannot quit drinking or control how much you drink. ¬† You drink more often than you want to, or you drink larger amounts than you want to
  • You need to drink more to get the same effect
  • You have withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. ¬† These include feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety
  • You spend a lot of time drinking and recovering from drinking, or you have given up other activities so you can drink
  • You have tried unsuccessfully to quit drinking or to cut back the amount that you drink
  • You continue to drink even though it harms your relationships and causes you to develop physical problems

Other signs of possible trouble with alcohol include the following:

  • You drink in the morning, are drunk often for long periods of time, or drink alone
  • You change what you drink, such as switching from beer to wine, because you think that doing this will help you drink less or keep you from getting drunk
  • You feel guilty after drinking
  • You make excuses for your drinking or do things to hide your drinking, such as buying alcohol at different stores
  • You worry that you won't get enough alcohol for an evening or weekend
  • You have physical signs of alcohol dependence, such as weight loss, a sore or upset stomach (gastritis), or redness of the nose and cheeks


If you are dependent on alcohol and you stop drinking, you may have withdrawal symptoms.   Common withdrawal symptoms include feeling sick to your stomach and vomiting, sweating, nervousness, and shaking.   Withdrawal symptoms usually don't occur until about 24 hours after you stop drinking.   Symptoms are at their worst about three (3) days after you stop drinking.


Medical Treatment


If you have questions about alcohol abuse and dependence, or wish to make an appointment for yourself or a loved one, please contact our Behavioral Health Access & Information Line at (404) 613-3675.     A clinician from the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities is  available Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and can assist you.   After hours, please call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.