12. Recognizing and Confronting Alcohol Abuse


Alcohol abuse is increasingly becoming a problem for university students in Thailand. International students may feel  the need to imbibe more liberally than the Thais in an effort to forget their troubles and socialize.

Definition of Alcohol Abuse

When a person’s use of alcohol interferes with physical, social, or economic functioning, then alcohol abuse is present.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

  • Loss of time from school or work due to drinking.
  • Depression or unhappiness due to drinking.
  • Drinking in order to copy with personal problems
  • Drinking to overcome shyness.
  • Loss of interest in family and friends.
  • Loss of interest in activities which were once of interest.
  • Difficulty sleeping due to drinking.
  • Poor judgment.
  • Drinking outside of a social setting.
  • Showing up intoxicated in inappropriate settings.
  • Drinking to build self-confidence.
  • Mood fluctuations.
  • Developing health problems due to drinking.
  • Experiencing memory blackouts during or after drinking.
  • Usually drinking to the point of intoxication.
  • Feeling guilty about drinking.
  • Not fulfilling promises or obligations because of drinking.

How to Confront an Alcohol Abuser

  1. Talk in a non-judgmental way about your feelings concerning the person’s drinking.
  2. If an alcohol abuser denies that he/she has a drinking problem, let the person know what will happen if he/she does not stop drinking.
  3. If the alcohol abuser agrees to seek help, then get help immediately.

Common Traits Exhibited by an Alcohol Abuser When Confronted

  • Denial.
  • Rationalizing to excuse the alcohol abuse.
  • Making excuses when promises and obligations are not fulfilled.
  • Blaming others for problems.
  • Manipulation.
  • Dependency.