Are you worried about a loved one’s alcohol intake?
Almost 15 million Americans over 12 years old have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). In some cases, the signs of alcoholism are subtle. It’s why you’re unlikely to know there’s a problem until it’s too late.
Don’t panic now. In this guide, we’ll teach you some alcoholism signs. Read on to know when to call for an intervention.
1. Experiencing Blackouts
People with an alcohol problem will often black out. It’s when they lose their ability to make short-term memories. It lasts for a certain period because of their body’s high alcohol content.
In most cases, these people won’t remember anything they experienced after they recover. It’s cliché, but it has both anecdotal and scientific evidence.
Blackouts are the most obvious method to let you know whether your loved one’s alcohol intake is beyond what they can take. When they experience blackouts often, it’s a sign of alcohol addiction or abuse.
2. Lack of Drinking Control
One of the most telling signs of alcohol addiction is the lack of control when drinking. Your loved ones will always say they’re only going for a single drink. They often cite stress relief or “calming the nerves” as their excuse for drinking.
After that, they’ll immediately drink in abundance and become intoxicated as a result. In most cases, they mean what they say. They have good intentions, but their addiction will often take over.
Never let your loved one drink more than what’s good for them. It’s best to talk to them about going to a substance abuse recovery center for professional help.
3. Hiding or Lying About Their Drinking Habits
When your loved ones abuse alcohol regularly, they may put some effort to hide their consumption. For example, they might hide the fact that they consumed more alcohol in private after having a few drinks with friends.
A person struggling with alcoholism will often sneak away during social gatherings. Once alone, they will indulge in their drinking problem. You won’t catch them until they become roaring drunks.
4. Subtle Physical Changes
Most heavy drinkers will start showing physical symptoms of alcoholism, especially when they’re regular abusers. For example, most alcoholics will either gain or lose weight. If they often complain about feeling bloated, they’re likely drinking more alcohol than necessary.
A person consuming lots of alcohol before sleeping will look tired all the time. It’s because these beverages prevent your body from getting adequate sleep.
When consuming lots of alcohol, the liver can’t metabolize everything. The excess will continue circulating throughout your bodily systems. While sleeping, your body continues this process.
As your body metabolizes alcohol, you’ll experience sleep disturbances. It also takes you longer to fall asleep.
5. Work or Legal Problems Because of Drinking
When a person becomes an abusive drinker, their addiction will often interfere with their cognitive functions. The alcohol will often disrupt their performance at work. In some cases, they’ll either call in sick or botch their tasks because of a hangover.
Sometimes, these people face legal issues resulting from their alcohol addiction. They often get DUIs because they insist on driving before the alcohol’s effects wear off.
Others will engage in risky or illegal behaviors while drunk. For example, they’ll steal or vandalize another person’s property. It often lands them in jail because they’re too drunk to know when to stop.
If your loved one’s behavioral pattern changes for the worse, it’s a good sign of alcohol abuse struggles.
6. Experiencing Alcohol Withdrawal
A lot of people experience some form of a hangover from too much alcohol consumption. It’s common if you consumed the substance the night before. If your loved one experiences regular hangovers, they’re likely abusing alcohol.
Hangovers are often your body’s method of alcohol withdrawal. Other common signs include the following:
- Hand tremors
The onset of these symptoms depends on the level of dependency. In some cases, the symptoms will manifest as soon as eight hours after their last intake. The severity of these effects depends on how addicted they are.
7. Drinking Despite Knowing the Consequences
Alcoholics are often aware of their addiction. Despite the knowledge, they will continue to drink regardless of the consequences. They will indulge in their vice even when it destroys every aspect of their life.
Most people suffering from abuse often estrange family members and friends. They often lose their jobs and suffer from various health issues. Regardless, they won’t stop because they feel like they can’t live without alcohol.
If your loved one declines to quit drinking, their alcohol addiction must be severe. It’s especially when the consequences are obvious.
How to Talk to a Loved One About Their Drinking Problem
It’s always difficult to bring up “the talk” to a loved one. It’s easy to assume they’ll become defensive, lash out, or deny the problem. These are common reactions, but it’s not an excuse to intervene on their behalf.
Your loved one’s drinking issues won’t disappear without action. It will only get worse until they decide to change. As their loved one, you can speak up if they won’t recognize the problem.
Be open and honest about their issues. However, you can’t force them to stop their alcohol abuse. The best you can do is to offer them a helping hand to address their drinking issue.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s calling a helpline or talking to a counselor. Approach them when they’re not drunk. It ensures you’re both calm and reasonable.
Let them know you care by telling them about alcohol’s negative effects. However, it’s best to remain compassionate instead of judgmental. Never shame them and always find a solution together.
Learn the Signs of Alcoholism Today
These are some of the most obvious signs of alcoholism. If your loved one is showing these patterns of behavior, act fast. Be tactful and approach them with compassion to let them know you care.
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