Noticing the Hidden Signs: 6 Ways to Identify an Alcoholic

Noticing the Hidden Signs: 6 Ways to Identify an Alcoholic

Alcohol abuse is just like any other disease. The earlier you identify an issue and realize that someone close to you has a problem, the sooner they can seek professional help.

Taking decisive action as early as possible will allow you to help your loved one before the situation gets out of hand, often improving their prospects of a faster recovery when intervention is swift.

It may not be immediately obvious that your loved one is becoming an addict because, in many drink-related cases, alcoholics tend to use all manner of means to hide their drinking habit. However, there are signs that should alert you.

Usually, an alcoholic has no mental clarity to spot the signs of alcohol addiction in himself or herself. That’s why you need to step up and help your loved one as soon as you notice the signs.

Here are some useful pointers to help identify some classic telltale signs of alcoholism.

1. They Normally Have Good Explanations for Why They Drink

Sometimes, alcoholics may be happy to acknowledge that they take alcohol. They will attempt to give you a rational explanation of why they are drinking, which is usually an approach that is designed to make you believe that taking alcohol is the best thing for them.

The truth is that excessive alcohol isn’t good for anyone and can potentially expose you to serious health risks like liver diseases such as cirrhosis.

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2. They Can’t Stop Drinking

An alcoholic can’t just stop drinking at will. They will drink the first glass and call it the first round, drink the next and call it the second round. Most of us can enjoy a drink and realize when we have had enough but an alcoholic will continue drinking without stopping.

If you notice this, you could try and introduce your loved one to a group meeting where they can be helped to stop taking alcohol gradually.

3. Drinking Instead of Eating

A familiar trait of an alcoholic is to value drinking above anything else, and they might even start replacing their regular meals with alcohol instead.

When they prefer drinking alcohol to taking tea in the morning and are happy to start drinking when it’s lunchtime, these are worrying signs that alcoholism is dominating their daily routine.

An alcoholic would probably rather drink than stay with family members to have lunch together.

4. When Not Drunk, They Become Nervous and Uncomfortable

It’s difficult to persuade an alcoholic to quit drinking, especially when a lack of alcohol in their body might lead them to feel nervous and uncomfortable.

This is because they will feel like they lack something that their body has become accustomed to.

That’s why professionals often recommend gradual withdrawal from alcohol rather than forcing an abrupt withdrawal, as you will be giving the person more time for their body to adjust to these different emotions and physical responses that they will likely experience at this point.

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5. Change in Behavior

Due to the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, it’s normal for an alcoholic’s behavior to change significantly. For example, a person may start behaving aggressively or making rash and impulsive decisions, compared to their behavior beforehand when they might have been a gentle and level-headed person.

It is imperative to act quickly when you notice that your loved one’s behavior has changed, and you can do this by finding ways to help the person to gradually stop drinking, hopefully, getting their old personality back at some point in the process.

6. The Person Drinks in Perilous Situations

Drinking in dangerous situations means drinking when you’re not advised to drink, for example, when driving or operating vehicles or machinery.

If you notice that your loved one is motivated to continue drinking and seems happy to accept the risks attached to their actions, this is clearly a tipping point and you should act quickly to protect them and others from potential harm.

If they are on medication, they may be instructed to avoid alcohol for health reasons during this period. If you notice that the person still seems unwilling to change their drinking habits despite the medical and physical risks attached to their actions, this is another clear indication that they have developed alcoholic tendencies.

Over to You

We all have a role to play in helping a loved one recover from a serious situation like alcoholism and despite the fact that you may be experiencing some emotional turmoil as to whether you should intervene in their life in such a way, your concern for their welfare should be an overriding factor.

If you can help them to take that crucial first step and seek professional help you are unlikely to feel bad about intervening for too long and your actions may well make a major and positive difference to their future prospects.

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