15 million Americans have alcohol disease disorder. But spotting an alcoholic is not always easy, even if that person is a loved one.
People with an alcohol problem are often adept at hiding their behavior. They may not want their friends and family to worry. Or perhaps they do not want their employer to know the extent of their drinking problem.
Do you know what alcoholism looks like? If you can spot the signs your loved one is struggling with alcohol you may be able to help them address the problem.
Learn how to detect the three most common signs of a closet drinker. You may be able to help a loved one now or in the future.
People struggling with alcohol addiction have built up a tolerance to alcohol so they need to drink more to intoxicate their system.
One way to spot a problem is when someone you know routinely asks to get together for a few drinks before or after attending an event. This is referred to as “pregaming.” A problem drinker will need to drink more to reach the same level as their friends.
Another secret sign is that closet drinkers hide the extent of their drinking by throwing empty bottles directly into the outside trash bins when no one is looking.
Many heavy drinkers facilitate their needs by hiding alcohol in kitchen cabinets behind other items. Other hiding places include the bathroom, dresser drawers, the garage and even in furniture.
The initial attraction of alcohol for most people is the pleasant effect or “buzz” it produces. An alcoholic is always searching for those elusive effects and they keep drinking even after alcohol is a problem.
So what started out as drinking to get a good feeling eventually leads to drinking to relieve pain or stress. They drink to cope when something bad happens and celebrate with drinks when something good happens.
Pay attention to the reasons why a loved one says they are drinking. These excuses are often a crutch or protection to mask their drinking problem.
Someone who drinks consistently will increase their body’s tolerance for alcohol. Over time, they will need to drink more alcohol to achieve the same level of intoxication.
A surefire sign of a problem drinker is once they start drinking they are unable to stop. To that end, drinking a whole bottle of wine or liquor after it is opened is a clear sign of alcoholism. And drinking that much alcohol builds up a tolerance, even more, leading to a cycle of dependence.
Someone with a serious problem may suffer from withdrawals if they are unable to drink. Withdrawals of any sort, even from antidepressants such as Paxil, are very serious and require professional help as soon as possible.
Ultimately, a loved one who has such serious alcohol addiction issues needs to be in an alcohol addiction treatment facility.
Spotting a closet drinker requires you to be alert and look for the danger signs above. Other signs of a secret drinker include drinking at inappropriate times, mood swings, drinking rituals and memory loss.
If someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction it is possible to help them. Obtain the support of your family and friends. You may even decide to enlist an intervention specialist for additional help.
Make sure to take care of your own needs as well so you can be in the right state of mine to help someone you love.
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