5 Signs That Someone Has an Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol can be fun when consumed responsibly. You and your friends can go out for a drink after work and feel more relaxed or you can enjoy a bottle of wine with dinner to add flavor to the meal. Unfortunately, alcohol is also quite addictive. According to one study, nearly 13 percent of the population are alcoholics. If your loved one exhibits any of the following symptoms, he or she may have an alcohol problem.
Drinking Until Blacking Out
Does your friend black out each time he or she drinks? Someone who blacks out may not drink every day but will not know "when to say when" when going to the bar with friends. If your friend regularly forgets what happened during a night out, it may a sign of a current or developing problem. On the flip side, as an addict builds a tolerance to alcohol, he or she may drink more than other people in the group without slowing down or feeling the same effects.
While skipping school or work can be a sign of many things, it may be an indication of alcoholism. Someone who is drinking in large quantities often feels too hungover to go to work the next day or may even still be drunk. Sometimes, the person knows he or she has a problem and is too embarrassed to admit it, so avoids social interaction unless it specifically revolves around alcohol.
Changing Personality or Attitude
Someone who drinks excessively may exhibit changes in personality. Perhaps your loved one is usually a kind person but gets angry after a few drinks. Maybe he or she is shy or reserved but becomes much more outgoing or aggressive when drinking. A person who is exhibiting uncharacteristic behavior, especially after only drinking for an hour or two, is likely consuming too much.
Lying About Consumption Habits
Someone who has a drinking problem usually begins to lie about how much he or she is drinking. You may notice your friend have multiple drinks at the bar but then insist he or she only had a couple. You might find alcohol bottles in a family member's bedroom or car instead of in the liquor cabinet or refrigerator. Alcoholics often feel embarrassed about their habits and try to play them off as no big deal or by claiming there was a special occasion or reason for drinking so much.
Getting Into Trouble
People who have a drinking problem often find themselves in trouble. This could be being expelled from college for not showing up to enough classes or being fired from a job because of calling off too often. Sometimes, people can hold down their jobs or stay in school but exhibit other risky behaviors. Look at overall behavior when learning how to identify alcoholism. If your friend leaves the bar with strangers, drives after he or she has had one too many drinks, becomes violent, or exhibits other risky behavior, he or she may be an alcoholic.
People who use alcohol excessively and long-term are likely to develop health issues such as cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis of the liver, depression, pancreatitis, and many other issues. Extreme alcoholism can cause cancer or even lead to death. If you suspect someone you love has a problem with alcohol, ensure he or she knows you are supportive and will do what you can to help.