Millions of Americans deal with alcohol addiction every day. Many people do not realize that they suffer from alcoholism – while some signs are easily recognizable, others can be more difficult to notice. People can sometimes overlook mild alcohol abuse, but those struggling from severe alcoholism might try to hide their addictions from their loved ones out of shame or embarrassment. These are a few key signs that could help you identify if your loved one has an alcohol addiction.
#1: Unusually High Alcohol Tolerance
When someone drinks lots of alcohol every day or most days, they develop a high tolerance for alcohol. As a result, they need to drink more to feel the same effects that another person of their same size and sex would after a much lower amount. If your loved one has an unusually high tolerance and needs to drink excessively to feel the effects, he or she is most likely suffering from alcohol addiction.
#2: Lying About or Hiding Alcohol
People who have a healthy relationship with alcohol do not feel the need to lie about drinking or hide their alcohol. If you find bottles of alcohol tucked away in an unusual place in your home, or your loved one lies about drinking consistently, he or she may feel shame and embarrassment about drinking. This is a key sign of an alcohol problem – there is no reason to lie or hide alcohol if no abuse is present.
#3: Dependence on Alcohol to Relieve Bad Emotions
People who have an addiction turn to alcohol to numb the pain of difficult emotions – grief, stress, sadness, anger. As a result, many people rely on alcohol to get through the day to numb these emotions. This is not a healthy coping mechanism and can lead to a severe dependence on alcohol. If your loved one indicates that they need a drink to handle certain issues, he or she may have an alcohol dependency.
#4: Cycles of Drinking and Hangovers
People who suffer from alcohol addiction can spend a great deal of time drinking and recovering from hangovers afterward. In addition, they may depend on alcohol to recover from these hangovers, restarting the cycle again. Your loved one might consistently mention that he or she feels horrible because of a hangover, or complain of common hangover symptoms such as headaches and nausea. If your loved one misses work, family gatherings, and other social obligations to drink or recover from drinking, he or she may have an alcohol problem.
#5: Frequent Lapses in Memory
Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of alcohol use. Blackouts from excessive drinking cause temporary amnesia, leading your loved one to completely forget conversations from the day before or an important appointment set during a time where he or she had been drinking. You may speak to your loved one about something important to you one day, and when you bring it up the next day, he or she will be completely oblivious of the conversation. If your loved one doesn’t seem to remember recent events frequently, it is possibly due to an alcohol problem.
#6: Development of Alcohol-Related Health Problems
Alcohol is dangerous when consumed in excess because it is a toxin. Our livers can especially suffer when we consume alcohol, but usually we take a break from drinking so that our liver can heal. If someone drinks frequently and in excess, the liver does not have time to heal. As a result, people who are addicted to alcohol can develop liver problems. Alcohol abuse can also affect the cardiovascular system, the immune system, and chronic condition management, such as diabetes. If your loved one develops an alcohol-related health condition, he or she most likely has an alcohol addiction.
#7: Engaging in Risky Activities
Alcohol can impair our judgment and cause us to engage in risky activities that we wouldn't normally engage in when we are sober. People who suffer from chronic alcohol abuse can engage in these activities frequently, putting themselves and others in physical danger. If your loved one frequently engages in risky activities while drunk, such as operating a vehicle while drunk or engaging in life-threatening activities, he or she may have an alcohol problem.
#8: Mood Swings and Outbursts
Alcohol lowers our inhibitions and makes us act in ways that we wouldn’t when we are sober. In addition, alcohol is a depressant and can have severe effects on someone’s emotions and mental health. If your loved one is frequently irritable, angry, or upset after a period of relaxation when drinking, he or she could have an alcohol problem.
#9: Loss of Drinking Limits
Healthy drinking habits involve knowing how much alcohol your body can safely handle before you reach your limit. People who suffer from alcohol abuse may ignore their limits in favor of having another drink. If your loved one drinks to the point where he or she can’t drink anymore, it may be the sign of an addiction to alcohol.
#10: Legal Issues Related to Alcohol
Drinking problems can follow us everywhere. Drinking in inappropriate places, public intoxication, driving while under the influence, or engaging in fights while drunk can land your loved one in legal trouble. In addition, chronic alcohol abuse can lead to issues at school and work as well. Your loved one may lose a job, their enrollment at school, or face disciplinary action due to alcohol abuse. If your loved one experiences any legal issues or punishment due to alcohol, he or she may have an addiction.
#11: Replacing Old Hobbies With Drinking
People who abuse alcohol often forego activities they used to enjoy in favor of drinking. They might stop playing sports they used to love, visiting close friends and family, or even playing their favorite instrument. If your loved one stops engaging in activities he or she used to enjoy to stay home and drink, it is most likely due to an alcohol addiction.
Seek Professional Help Today
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from an alcohol addiction, he or she may need professional help. Finding a holistic and comprehensive rehabilitation facility can help your loved one safely detox from alcohol abuse and develop crucial coping skills to maintain sobriety for years to come. If you’re looking for clinical excellence in the Canyon Lake, Texas area, visit Windmill Wellness Ranch today.
We offer holistic alcohol and drug treatment programs to heal the body, mind, and spirit throughout your loved one’s stay, from art therapy to grief counseling to assistance beginning the 12-step program. Contact us today to learn more about our facility and how to enroll.