When does one stop drinking for fun and develops a bad habit? Many people drink. And just because you drink, doesn’t mean you have a problem.
Most people drink during special occasions or just to have fun. Even if you indulge in alcohol each weekend, you’re technically not an alcoholic.
But alcoholics go too far. Drinking becomes their life. They can’t do anything without being drunk.
Alcoholics have a dependence that’s deeply rooted in psychological issues.
Fortunately, true alcoholics show a few warning signs.
Do you suspect your loved one is becoming an alcoholic? Here are 8 early warning signs of alcoholism.
1. They Are Lacking Responsibility
Most adults drink on Friday and Saturday nights but stay sober for the rest of the week because they work in the morning. And when kids come into the picture?
Responsible parents put down the bottle and tend to their children.
But alcoholics don’t know when to put the bottle down. Their drinking interferes with their family life and career.
Some alcoholics even start avoiding their responsibilities. This includes being late or missing work. They will also stop any involvement in their kid’s life.
2. Their Physical Appearance Changes
Alcohol is a poison. That means it affects a person mentally and physically.
You can spot the physical signs easier than the mental ones. Symptoms include red eyes, trembling hands, excessive sweating, and a lack of personal hygiene or any care in their appearance.
Some physical symptoms are easy to hide. Most can disguise bad breath with mints.
Alcoholic women can disguise their physical symptoms by wearing makeup. Alcoholics with successful careers can also cover up their problems by wearing nice and designer clothing.
3. They Use Alcohol to Deal With Serious Issues
Sure, we can all use a drink when we have a stressful day at work. But alcoholics will use alcohol to cover up any little issue in their life. They will make excuses to drink. But how do you know these excuses are ones that deserve your concern?
If the excuses are minor, such as “customers upset me today” or “studying for that exam stressed me out,” these shouldn’t be a worry.
But major issues such as “I’m broke” or “I’m not a good parent” will start becoming an alcoholic’s excuses.
4. They Drink at Inappropriate Times
If you’re a healthy drinker, you understand there are times to drink and times you shouldn’t drink. A Friday night is commonly known as a healthy time to drink. But a Tuesday morning is typically not a time people drink.
An alcoholic doesn’t know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy time to drink. They will drink all day, at work, and even when they’re around their kids.
Some alcoholics can’t cover up their drinking. Others will disguise their beverage as something else. For example, they will pour vodka into a water bottle. Their tolerance is also very high, so you may not be able to tell they’re intoxicated.
5. They Develop a High Tolerance
Most alcoholics aren’t the homeless people who are reckless and lose everything they own to alcohol.
Most are functioning alcoholics. This means they can go to work, raise their family, and live a relatively normal life while indulging in their addiction.
So how do you not know they’re intoxicated? They develop a high tolerance. It takes a lot of alcohol for them to get drunk. They stop experiencing hangovers and find ways to hide their addiction.
The best way to identify this is to stay with them while they drink, but highlight the meeting as a “casual” drinking event. Watch how many drinks they have and notice if they get intoxicated.
6. Can’t Maintain a Relationship
If there’s anyone who can spot an alcoholic the quickest, it’s a significant other.
They spend practically every second of their life with their lover. This is why they notice the warning signs quickest.
No one wants to be in a relationship with an alcoholic. This is why an alcoholic can’t hold down a love life.
If you still have contact information of a former significant other, reach out to them and ask if their former lover has an alcohol problem.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always helpful. Many people find reasons to stay with an alcoholic partner. It’s worth it to ask them any signs they notice.
7. Don’t Admit Their Alcoholism
If you ask a sober person if they’re an alcoholic, they will likely say no. That’s because they’re honestly not an alcoholic. But if you ask an alcoholic about their addiction, they will also say no. That’s because they’re in denial.
Most alcoholics are fully aware of their problem. But they will avoid confrontation.
They have no interest in changing their habits or attending rehab. Unfortunately, these are the ones who need help the most.
8. They Abandon What They Love
Before they hit the bottle, alcoholics were artists, writers, performers, musicians, business owners, athletes. But overall, they were someone with a passion. When you start abusing alcohol, alcohol becomes your passion.
This doesn’t have to be a passion. It can even be a hobby. This includes going to the movies or watching football.
If you knew a loved one devoted their time to a passion but they stop pursuing what they love, there’s probably an underlying problem. Or maybe they stop enjoying what it is they loved.
This should concern you if you notice them drinking frequently.
Identify the Early Signs of Alcoholism
Anyone can endure mood swings and stress. But when you abuse alcohol with these symptoms, this is one of the early signs of alcoholism.
It’s not easy to tell the difference between a casual drinker and a drinking habit.
Do your best to identify and differentiate these symptoms. Such as noticing any changes in someone you love or any sketchy behavior.
Are you in Pasadena and have a loved one who’s an alcoholic? Take a look at our alcohol rehab center.