Have you recently asked yourself if your loved one is drinking too much? Perhaps you’ve noticed increased drinking, changes to how they behave, their health, or how they react to their obligations.
The following are five signs your loved one is drinking too much. Alcoholism comes in many forms, but can start slowly. Sometimes, we can’t always tell we drink too much, and sometimes we aren’t ready to admit we may need help quitting drinking.
Chronic drinking can lead to addiction, dependence, and eventually withdrawal symptoms, which can be life-threatening if not properly treated. Identifying the signs of alcohol abuse early is key to getting your loved one the help they need in addiction recovery.
1. Inability To Stop Drinking
One of the biggest signs of alcohol abuse or alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) is the inability to stop drinking, even if you want to. This is partly because alcohol abuse can lead to physical dependence, which means you experience adverse, physical symptoms when not drinking, such as headache, nausea, or tremors.
As addiction forms, you become mentally reliant on alcohol. At this point, it’s very hard for a person to quit drinking without help. Cravings for alcohol can become overwhelming. Together, cravings and withdrawal symptoms are enough to keep your loved one caught in the cycle of drinking, even if he or she realizes drinking is taking over their life.
Once it becomes apparent that there’s a problem, and that your loved one feels powerless to stop drinking, he or she may start showing other signs, such as trying to hide away or cover up the problem.
As drinking turns to addiction or dependence, your loved one may become aware of the problem. At first, he or she may try to solve the issue on their own by trying to quit drinking. If that fails, they may begin to hide away or hide their drinking from family, friends, and loved ones.
Guilt, shame, or humiliation may keep your loved one trying to hide the problem long after he or she is able to conceal it. If you begin finding bottles of liquor or other types of alcohol hidden in places they shouldn’t be (i.e. laundry hampers, behind books in bookshelves, etc.) your loved one may be drinking too much. Many people aren’t ready to see that their drinking has become problematic, so hiding the drinking is one way to keep the problem at bay—at first.
If you attempt to confront the person, they may feel defensive, or even have violent outbursts. Prolonged alcohol abuse can also contribute to depression, anxiety, or insomnia. Combining isolation with any of these symptoms is not a healthy way to live, and may in turn lead to more drinking.
3. Broken Promises
If your loved one regularly drinks to the point of intoxication, it’s likely he or she has done some things they may not otherwise have done, such as drunk driving, getting into fights, violent or otherwise, or risky sexual encounters.
Alcohol addiction tends to create a cycle of drinking, usually beginning with drinking and ending with a disaster, until the cycle repeats.If the person starts to cut back drinking, they may be able to succeed for a short time until cravings or withdrawal symptoms drive them back to it.
Even if your loved one recognizes the need to quit drinking, and is ready, he may continue simply because quitting on your own is too difficult. Your loved one may promise to stop drinking time after time, and may even mean to keep this promise, but may be unable to do so without treatment.
4. Problems At Work, School, or Home
Addiction is a disease that takes over your life. Your loved one may begin to have trouble keeping up with regular responsibilities at home, such as paying bills on time, caring for children, or taking care of personal needs.
Alcohol abuse or addiction can cause increasing problems at work, too. At first, your loved one may feel like he or she can hide alcohol abuse, but often the problem comes to light. This can cause reprimand or even loss of a job. If it’s your teen drinking, the same can be said of having problems in school performance.
All in all, drinking too much can affect each aspect of your life until your life is no longer your own.
5. Health And Behavioral Changes
Drinking too much can take a toll on health and behavior more quickly than you might think. Alcohol contains toxins, and the body can only process so much alcohol at a time. When you drink too much, the body isn’t able to properly process the toxins, and this can damage your liver and other organs.
Before long, your loved one may have a weakened immune system, and begin to get sick more often. Excessive drinking also tends to cause those affected to neglect personal health, such as getting adequate sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition.
Addiction to any substance can cause behavioral changes, and alcohol addiction is no exception. As addiction progresses, your loved one may experience depression or anxiety, and drink to quell those symptoms. This can cause mood shifts and outbursts.
Regular, excessive drinking can cause your loved one to begin taking drastic measures to keep up with the drinking. This can mean finding ways to get alcohol, even if he or she has no money, hiding drinking or alcohol from you, or trying to cover up bad situations that resulted from drinking.
What To Do If Your Loved One Is Drinking Too Much
If your loved one has started drinking too much, it’s likely that he or she realizes there is a problem, even if he or she isn’t ready to admit it. At this point, it’s probably a delicate subject, and must be approached cautiously. What matters most is you get your loved one help as soon as possible.
Alcohol is a substance that can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms. For many addicted to alcohol, the first step in treatment is detoxification, or ridding the body of the chemicals acquired by the body during alcohol abuse.
Detoxification from alcohol should never be attempted alone, and many alcohol rehab centers provide excellent medically supervised detoxification for this reason. Once detox is completed, your loved one can begin a comprehensive, integrated approach to healing from addiction.
Find Alcohol Treatment Today
If your loved one is struggling, reach out to us today. We can help you figure out how to proceed from here, find a rehab center that fits your loved one’s need, and understand your loved one’s options in treatment. Contact us today to learn more.
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