Are you concerned about your partner or child and their drinking? Understanding some of the key signs of alcoholism can help you spot a troubling issue early and get your teen or spouse the care they need to recover.
Spotting one or more of these signs could mean it is time to talk to your loved one about alcohol addiction treatment and seek out help from an alcohol rehab program:
A Preference for Vodka
While enjoying vodka does not make you an alcoholic, adding it to other beverages on a regular basis could be a sign of a problem. Vodka is colorless and does not have a strong odor, making it easy to mix into everything from water to soft drinks and avoid detection. Vodka is also a preferred beverage for many heavy drinkers because it has a high alcohol content. If you notice a large number of vodka bottles in the recycling bin or trash, your partner or loved one could be hiding a significant amount of drinking using this benign-looking alcoholic beverage.
Hiding Alcohol or Consumption
If you find alcohol bottles (full or empty) hidden in odd, random places around your home, you may have a family member who is trying to hide their true level of consumption. Hiding either the amount of alcohol consumed or purchased is a clear sign of a problem.
Missing Work or Life Events
Failing to show up for work, parties or family events could be a sign that alcoholism is starting to impact all aspects of your loved one’s life. Showing up late and drunk or late and hungover to a wedding, birthday party or even a regular workday is a red flag and a sign that your loved one is in trouble.
Forgetting Actions or Conversations
If your loved one forgets what happens when she is drunk or has lost periods of time to a blackout after a drinking binge, it is a clear sign of a problem. Drinking to the point of blackout means your loved one is not able to moderate their drinking or to tell when it is time to stop.
A loved one who loses interest in anything but drinking and who stops playing sports, volunteering or engaging in hobbies, likely has a problem with alcohol. The increased need for isolation and privacy may be because your partner wants more time to drink – and has a shorter attention span for those formerly enjoyed activities.
Spotting one or more of these signs (in addition to any concerns you already have about your loved one’s drinking) could mean that it’s time to have a serious talk about alcohol treatment. While one of these signs alone may not mean your spouse or child is in trouble, several of them together should be taken as a clear red flag and sign that it’s time to take action.
That action is just as relevant for you as it is for your loved one — programs like Al-Anon can help you get connected to other members of your community who have been through the challenges of having a loved one who struggles with alcoholism. There are also a number of sobriety podcasts that can be both helpful and eye-opening. It’s critical that you receive support and become educated on the issue yourself, as you don’t want to enable your loved one to continue in their addiction.
The right alcohol rehab program can help your loved one recover, and the right books, meetings, and information are out there for you, too.