You'll rarely find a drinker that doesn't have at least one story of huge embarrassment purely caused by alcohol use. (Pixabay)

When we think of drug problems, we don't tend to dwell on alcoholism. We think of the many hard drugs that plague our communities, but we don't consider the shiny can of beer in our grocery store as a drug. Alcohol is the No. 1 drug problem in America, and there are over 17 million alcoholics in our country. Those are the ones we know about. A person dies in America every 30 minutes from an alcohol-related car accident. Beer and liquor may be legal, but they ruin lives and kill the same as any dangerous drug.

Alcohol users, most times, are able to do so in such a manner that is relatively harmless. Yet, you'll rarely find a drinker who doesn't have at least one story of huge embarrassment purely caused by alcohol use. There are those stories, and then there are the ones where alcohol use leads to marriage and family disputes. How do we know if we have crossed the line into alcoholism and need to seek help? Here are 10 Signs of Alcoholism to help you learn the red flags.

Important Note: Change is possible and a good thing. If you are struggling with any of the indicators below, seek help through Alcoholics Anonymous or a Substance Abuse Treatment Center.

1. Taking Risks.

When a person chooses to use alcohol despite being a known risk that could endanger themselves, their families, their livelihood, or even the lives of other innocent people, that is a major red flag. Eventually, the drinker loses.

2. Blacking out.

Drinking to the point where you can't remember what happened.

3. Not Knowing When to Stop.

Everyone else at the get-together has either stopped drinking or has long gone home. You are still going and get defensive when told it's time to stop.

4. Bottomless Bottles.

There never seems to be enough to get you the same effect as it once did.

5. Drinking Solo.

For most people, drinking alcohol is a social activity. If you find yourself drinking large amounts alone you are heading down a dark road, particularly when you start to prefer it that way.

6. Withdrawal Symptoms.

If you go for a few days not drinking and suffer symptoms such as the shakes, heavy sweating, anxiety and being sick to your stomach, then you are addicted to the substance.

7. Ignoring Warnings and Consequences.

You continue to choose alcohol even at the expense of relationships and your health.

8. Becoming Angry When Confronted.

When the people who care most about you voice their concerns about your drinking, and you respond in a defensive or angry way.

9. Missing Obligations.

If you start to miss obligations such as work or children's activities because of your drinking, then drinking has become the priority.

10. You've Been Jailed.

This one is easy. If society deemed your behavior as dangerous enough that it required cuffing your hands and placing you under arrest, then you have a major issue.

What other possible signs are there of alcoholism?

This article originally appeared at allprodad.com.

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