Alcohol use is so common in our society that it is difficult to know if someone is just enjoying a few drinks or struggling with alcohol addiction. As you watch your loved one, you may be wondering if you should do something. Are they addicted to alcohol? Do they need help controlling their use?
Alcohol addiction is common, and it can be deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share that more than half of adults report drinking alcohol in some form in the previous 30 days. Additionally, 17% admit to binge drinking, and 6% admit to heavy drinking. More worrisome, though, is that excessive alcohol use led to the death of 140,000 people from 2015 to 2019.
If you are worried your loved one could be going down this path, take action. The first thing to do is to recognize the warning signs of misusing alcohol.
They Drink as a Way to Reduce Stress
Alcohol may be a go-to for some people after a long day at work or when dealing with a bad relationship. When alcohol becomes the primary coping mechanism, that’s an indication that your loved one may be misusing the substance. A person with an alcohol use disorder is likely to use alcohol as a treatment for stress, sadness, or other complications in their daily life.
They Hide Their Consumption
Those who are hiding how much they are drinking or when they are drinking could be facing addiction. For example, if they drink in the morning or at work, that’s a clear indication that they are misusing alcohol. They may not tell you how much they are drinking or may intentionally lie about their consumption. They know they are consuming more than they should or more than you would be okay with.
They Need a Lot of Alcohol to Feel the Impact
Alcohol tolerance builds over time. As it does, a person may find it nearly impossible not to drink more to get the same results. While they may have got the buzz they desired after a drink or two a few years ago, today they need a bottle or a six-pack. The more they drink, the more damage they are doing to their body.
Drinking Consumes Their Thoughts and Lives
Alcohol use disorder occurs when a person is unable to stop using the substance. That often means they are constantly thinking about their next drink or when they can get more of the substance. Don’t mistake this for being drunk all the time or all day long. Most people with this disorder do not display outward signs of intoxication. They may be able to work, engage in conversations, and function in a way that seems normal. Yet they tend to drink all day or may be constantly seeking their next drink.
Their Personality Changes
Dependence on alcohol leads to the need to seek out alcohol often. Ultimately, this changes a person’s personality. They may be more withdrawn and less engaged in the things they used to enjoy doing. They may also find themselves more likely to not participate in family activities or to skip things they used to love. They may seem angrier or more depressed than usual.
They Say They Will Stop but Do Not
You may be very angry with your loved one because they promised they would stop drinking and haven’t done so. This desire to stop and failure to do so is an indication they need help. It goes without saying that most people with alcohol use disorder cannot stop on their own without professional care, even if they swear they can and try to do so. Relapsing is an indication of addiction.
They Are Facing Numerous Complications
Often, families don’t recognize what’s occurring until more drastic events occur, such as:
- An overdose
- Illness such as liver disease
- A car accident
- Reckless behavior that leads to sexual encounters
- Financial devastation
- The loss of a job
- Frequent blackouts
If you see these types of challenges in your loved one, that’s an indication they need help right away.
How to Get Your Loved One into Alcohol Addiction Therapy
If you believe your loved one needs addiction treatment, show them you want to help. Our team at The Ranch at Dove Tree can guide you and provide a wide range of tools to help you get your loved one into treatment. You simply need to reach out to us to learn more about the process. Don’t wait. Contact our team in Lubbock, TX, today.