Has your friend or family member been acting a little off lately? Or have there been glaring changes in their behavior? Do you think it could be due to their alcohol consumption? Not all moderate or regular drinkers develop a dependency, but alcoholism is a common problem. It is estimated that one in every 13 American adults struggles with alcoholism. Here are five ways to tell if someone you love is one of them
1. Constant apologies.
Here’s a scenario you may be very familiar with. You go out with your friend, and they say they’ll just stick to one drink, but it doesn’t go that way.
The next morning, your friend is ashamed and apologizes for the way they behaved. If you find these apologies occur regularly, or your loved one is always expressing regret at the way they behaved while consuming alcohol, there is very likely a problem. This is a very common sign of alcoholism in young adults especially.
2. An astonishing tolerance.
Consider the size of the person you’re concerned about, and the amount of alcohol they consume. For instance, the average woman would be quite tipsy after two servings of alcohol, consumed one right after the other.
If the person you’re questioning seems to have an impressive tolerance, there’s a good chance they do more drinking than what you personally observe. Furthermore, it can be an indication that they don’t abstain from alcohol for any substantial length of time.
3. Poor judgement.
We can see signs of the addiction in many of the decisions an alcoholic makes. For instance, someone who has been drinking, but feels that they’re able to drive. They do not feel as though alcohol inhibits them, but fortifies them. There are also many people who have sexual encounters they typically wouldn’t consent to if they hadn’t been drinking.
And even when they’re not drunk, they may make decisions that result from their alcohol abuse, such as calling off work frequently.
4. Mood swings.
Alcohol is a depressant. When abused, it can cause people to have sudden feelings of hopelessness or inconsolable sadness, even when sober. Moreover, an alcoholic may become anxious or angry when they are denied access to alcohol, or may be observed to have intense mood changes when drinking.
5. Denial when confronted.
Although the addicted individual may display regret and sadness as a result of their alcohol abuse, they may still resist admitting or discussing the source of their pain. When loved ones attempt to address their alcohol consumption, they will deny, brush off, or maybe justify their behavior.
This is very common when those around them express worry. It can automatically make the addict feel ashamed of upsetting their loved ones, which leads to defensive behavior and statements.
Every alcoholic is different in their triggers, behaviors, and consumption level. That’s why professional assessment and interventions are recommended. But another key factor in recovery from alcoholism is support from friends and family. If someone close to you is an alcoholic, do not avoid the subject. Let them know you’re there for them every step of the way, no matter what, and they just might find it easier to take that first step toward sobriety.