How To Tell If Your Loved One Has An Alcohol Addiction

 

Introduction

Alcohol has become an integral part of our lives —  whether it’s a brunch wine & whine session with the girls, or wild & exciting pre-gaming session filled with tons of shots. While drinking occasionally is fine, it could develop into a chronic addiction that threatens one’s mental and physical health. However, it’s still challenging to identify when and who has developed a drinking problem, especially when it concerns someone you know and care about. 


You’re probably concerned if your loved one’s drinking habits have gone awry, but are still unsure if they have an addiction. You might have a hunch, but in the early stages of alcoholism, it is pretty difficult to observe any type of symptoms. But if left to fester, this fun recreational activity could turn into a heinous habit that is potentially damaging mentally and physically.  In this article, we’ll help you understand better the tell-tale signs to look out for. Educate yourself and you can help them on the path to sobriety with professional help.


Heightened Secretivity 

Have you ever caught your loved one explicitly stashing bottles of alcohol away? When you start discovering bottles hidden in very unconventional places like in a flower vase or underneath a car seat, this is a clear signal that your loved one is deliberately trying to conceal something. It would not make sense for someone who has an ordinary relationship with drinking to go out of their way to hide liquor away. 


Severe Moodiness 

The consumption of alcohol could potentially cause a negative impact on mental and physical health as it is a depressant. Depressants impair the activity of the central nervous system, reducing arousal and stimulation. This could mean that when a person is under the influence, he/she would have a higher tendency to be agitated, furious, or even violent when the relaxed phase wears off. Developing a chronic drinking problem could possibly result in depression, while heavy-binge drinking could pose emotional and physical difficulty for the drinker. 


Health Risks 

Despite the addictive temporary high alcohol induces, it is still a toxin. It would be tough on the liver to process without some damage. Occasional drinks are not too harsh, as it gives the drinker’s liver time to heal. The same cannot be said for a frequent drinker’s liver. Keep a lookout for when your loved one is drinking more than the usual in a week — seven or more times in a week would significantly cause damage to the liver, the cardiovascular system, and the immune system. You might start to notice your loved one constantly catching the flu, or in worse cases, having more trouble with dealing with chronic medical disorders like diabetes. Prolonged drinking problems could also result in life-threatening diseases like heart disease, liver failure, and cancer.



Decreased Productivity 

Another symptom to look out for is if your loved one is suddenly facing problems at work or at school. Heavy consumption of alcohol can result in an increase in poorer performance in his/her professional life. If your loved one is constantly late or lacks the focus in school or at work due to drinking activities the previous night, this puts them at risk of getting suspended or terminated.


Your loved one could also develop the inability to manage basic tasks like making bill payments, caring for pets or children, cleaning the house, cooking, and more. If daily tasks start to become more challenging for your loved one to focus on, he/she could be dedicating too much time to drinking. Poor drinking habits can seep into your loved one’s life, even when he/she isn't drinking that day. 


Drunk-driving 

Obviously, driving under the influence is a very heavy offense. It poses a risk to not only the driver but to anyone passers-by or drivers who are in his/her immediate vicinity. Even if you have just drunk a glass of alcohol, it is better to be safe than sorry. You don’t have to wait for an arrest to know that drinking has gone out of hand for your loved one. 


Self-Isolation 

When you start to notice your loved one becoming more of a hermit, this could also be a sign of an addiction. It is only human nature to not want to deal with guilt or humiliation that comes with being confronted about an apparent problem. Dealing with them aggressively would not be of any help either — in fact, it might make them retract further away from you. Without intervention, this could worsen their condition as it allows them to engage more in drinking habits in their own space and impair his/her relations with you, and the rest of the family. 


Making False Promises & Constant Drinking 

As with all habits, it is tough to quit. Across many cases of alcohol abuse, there is a prominent cycle. Drinking tends to accumulate until a disastrous event occurs; such as an arrest, a health problem, affecting another loved one, etc). It is then followed by a remorseful drinker promising to quit their damaging ways. Often, heavy drinkers who try to quit tend to relapse as they are unable to deal with sobriety for too long. They have to deal with withdrawal, which makes it very challenging for heavy drinkers to independently quit drinking. 


It is clear at this point, the drinker has a huge drinking issue. For some heavy drinkers, it has gone past the point of control, and they find themselves constantly drinking even in times they do not feel like doing so. This is a clear indication of an alcohol use disorder, and it would be best to help your loved one seek a proper treatment program in order to encourage them to commit to sobriety. 



Conclusion

If you still have a hunch about your loved one’s drinking activities, reach out to treatment facilities for advice. Hopefully, this article could help you correctly confirm your suspicions. It is highly advised to let a medical professional diagnose and treat your loved one, especially in drinking problems as they can prescribe proper medication and advice to help your loved one progress on his/her recovery the best way possible.


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