The signs that point towards a drinking problem appear much earlier than the recognition that the actual problem exists. Many people consider themselves social drinkers and do not realize how, over time, social drinking for them evolves into a true problem. Recognizing these 5 signs can prevent the problem from worsening and can be the step that leads to positive changes in a person’s life. Sign #1: Drinking alcohol at home most days of the week. Many people will disagree with this sign by saying that they are not getting drunk or that they are simply having a drink or two to relax at home. But a person who finds himself drinking at home, whether some beers, wine or hard liquor, more than half the days of the week more than likely already has or is developing a drinking problem. Drinking early in the day—like in the morning is a red flag that a drinking problem exists. Sign #2: Lying about drinking. This does not necessarily mean that a person out right says they do not drink or do not plan to drink since lying about drinking can include many other things. But once a person starts to lie about the amount of drinks they have had, or the type of alcohol, for example, to cover up how much drinking and how hard they are drinking, the person has developed a drinking problem. Sign #3: Getting upset when criticized about drinking. Getting defensive when someone else points out that they are concerned over the amount a person is drinking is a sure sign of a drinking problem. An individual who reacts by getting angry or verbally attack their critics when someone confronts them about their drinking is a key indicator that there is something to be truly concerned about. Sign #4: Making up excuses to drink. While everyone enjoys celebrating even small victories, making up reasons to drink, by calling them celebrations, is another sign of a drinking problem. When everything from a stressful day at work, a confrontation with another patron at the store, the traffic jam coming home during rush hour and the kids being kids at home end up as reasons to drink then that person has developed a drinking problem. People with drinking problems will make up any excuse to drink so that every week, multiple times a week, they will need a drink, to celebrate a compliment, let off some stress or simply hang out with friends. The problem with this is that a person with a drinking problem can find an excuse every day to have some drinks. Sign #5: Blacking out or losing consciousness while drinking. One of the most obvious signs, and one that cannot be easily brushed outside, is drinking to such excess that a blackout or loss of consciousness occurs. While anyone who drinks can have a day when they drink so much that they end up with a blackout, when this happens multiple times, the person experiencing the blackouts is definitely someone with a very serious drinking problem. Losing a few hours of the day or night due to alcohol consumption is a sign of a major problem that needs to be addressed quickly. Get help if you are someone you care about are exhibiting any of the above signs before the problem gets worse.