5 Signs Your Loved One May Have an Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol use is a legal and in many circles, an accepted, part of adulthood. It’s often difficult to determine when drinking has crossed over the line from something enjoyable to a more serious issue. If a loved one is confronted about alcohol use, they are more likely to respond with denials and rationalizations than to admit they may have a problem. Here are some signs your loved one may have an alcohol addiction.

A person doesn’t have to have all of these signs to indicate a problem. The more signs that someone has, the more likely it is that drinking is affecting their everyday life and they should seek professional help.

Signs your Loved One may Have an Alcohol Addiction

1. Lying About When and How Often they Drink

Someone who hides the amount they are drinking or drinks in secret may say that they are trying to avoid being bothered about it by others. In reality, they are in denial about their drinking problem.

2. Inability to Control their Alcohol Use

A person who always has to keep drinking until all the beer in the house is gone or must finish a bottle of wine once it has been open has a problem. They can’t stop drinking once they start.

3. Developing Increasing Tolerance for Alcohol

When it takes more drinks in order for someone to feel a “buzz” from alcohol or they can drink more than they used to in order to get drunk, it’s a strong sign of alcoholism. At that point, the person’s body has been exposed to alcohol enough times that it has adapted so that it can cope with the presence of alcohol more readily.

4. Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms when Going Without a Drink

These symptoms are not the same as having a hangover. Withdrawal symptoms include feeling anxious, depressed, irritable, nauseous or tired during times of not drinking. Other withdrawal symptoms include shakiness or trembling, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.

5. Inability to Stop Drinking

When someone realizes that their drinking has become a problem for them and has tried to stop but can’t quit, there is a strong possibility that they are struggling with alcohol addiction.

If you are concerned about a loved one’s drinking, approach them at a time when they are likely to be sober and not hung over. Tell them that you care about them and are concerned for their health and welfare. Share specific examples of what you have noticed. Offer to make an appointment for your loved one to see a doctor (and to go along, if necessary). You can also go online to start researching alcohol treatment facilities to learn about your options.