Can You Spot Alcohol Addiction?
Substance abuse is never a good thing. While alcohol is legally sold, some people take in more than they need and this could lead to problems that are bigger than what they can handle. The problem might look like it is underwhelming. However, if left alone, it can be more damaging to you and other members of your family than it will be for the person with the alcohol problem. Here are some signs you should watch out for and what to do in case you find them.
Unusually High Tolerance for Alcohol
Most people can take a drink or two and still walk straight, but there are also some who would not mind downing one case of beer in one night and still ask for more. While some people are more tolerant to alcohol than others, having unusually high tolerance could mean that a person is an alcoholic.
American Addiction Centers says that people build tolerance for alcohol. The more you drink, the tougher you get. For alcoholics, you might notice that they are able to drink more than others without getting the after effects. While most people start to slow down at a certain point, that might just when alcoholics would ask for more.
When placed in a situation where they cannot get alcohol, alcoholics will start to feel anxious. They might exhibit mood swings that are out of the ordinary or start to get easily angered. Some alcoholics might already feel that they might pick alcohol over food, rest, water or intimate relations. Some might feel that they cannot function properly and get shaky when they do not get their usual dose of alcohol.
Withdrawal is the second most dangerous warning sign of alcoholism. If this happens, this is already a huge red flag. Alcoholics have already grown comfortable with the effects of alcohol and if it is taken away they start to get withdrawal symptoms.
Everyone hides a lot of stuff. As for alcoholics, nobody gets near their stash of spirits. If you catch a family member hiding alcohol in unusual places or where prohibited, this can be another sign that he or she is already an alcoholic. When someone hides something from loved ones, it means that they know that it is wrong and that they do not want to get caught.
Take a Calm Approach
If you suspect that a loved one is becoming an alcoholic, you might also struggle with a lot of painful emotions yourself. Getting an alcoholic to sober up is definitely not easy, so you should ease up into getting them to trust you.
Do not attempt to punish, threaten or preach to them regarding their alcohol problem. Also, do not put yourself in the line of danger. Avoid appeals to emotion since these can only increase feelings of guilt and the compulsion to get drunk again. Most importantly, always let them feel that they are loved and that you value them. Do not feel guilty or responsible for his or her behavior.
Seek Professional Help
Alcoholism is a more serious problem than it looks. More often than not, alcoholics sober up with the help of a professional compared to getting rid of the habit themselves. If you notice that a loved one has been getting more drunk than usual, never hesitate to seek professional help. Alcoholism can take its toll not just physically but also emotionally for the person and the rest of the family. Thus, talking to someone who is not directly involved and emotionally invested will help.
Also be sure to pick a professional who is family oriented and has experience in similar situations. Also be sure that your family and the person with the alcohol problem feels comfortable with your selected therapist. Expect some resistance from your loved one. Your job is to make him or her feel as much love and support as you can through the entire process.
Having an alcoholic in the family is never easy. Fortunately, alcoholism is very treatable and manageable. Have you had any experiences about dealing with an alcoholic in the family? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.
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