5 Signs Your Loved One is Drinking Too Much

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | By Cooper Samp

Talking to someone who may have an addiction can be a difficult task, but before we get to those steps, it would be important to assess if a loved one truly drinks too much. According to SAMHSA, 6.2% of people who drink have an Alcohol Use Disorder. There is no set amount or drinking frequency to be considered an AUD. Instead, if someone meets a majority of the criteria below, they most likely have AUD or a beginning stage of it. So, before you start to look for an alcohol treatment center, assess your loved one by these five actions.

1. Too Much and Too Often (Heavy Drinking)

Having a beer or two when you have a bad day is natural. It’s a normal way for many people to unwind and take the edge off sometimes. But that’s the key word: “sometimes”. Like everything, moderation is the key here.

Heavy drinking is the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word “alcoholism” or Alcohol Use Disorder. When someone’s priority becomes drinking, it may be a problem. AUD doesn’t just have to be drinking every day. In fact, you may notice that in every special occasion or weekend involves drinking of some sort. In our society, this type of thing is often overlooked. Chances are, many of our weddings, birthdays, sports events, and general weekends at the beach probably involve alcohol. A telltale sign would be when alcohol is the motive. If you are going somewhere, they will generally always inform you about buying alcohol for the situation. If you say “no” and they begin to fuss and are adamant about buying the alcohol, it might be a sign of AUD.

2. Little Control Over Drinking

This sort of goes hand in hand with drinking too much. Here is why AUD does not have a definite number or frequency. You can come home every day and have a beer to unwind. Yes, while technically you would be drinking every day (sounds like a disorder to me) you don’t necessarily have an addiction. This is an important point! The key here is one or two drinks. Those who struggle with Alcoholism (now Alcohol Use Disorder) have a difficult time limiting their drinking. Instead, they do not stop drinking until they are inebriated or their alcohol supply is gone.

3. Drinking Leads to Risky Behaviors and Dangerous Situations

One of these two people has an AUD.

Tom drinks a 6-pack of beer a day while Lindsey drinks occasionally on the weekends. At first glance, it would appear that Tom is an alcoholic but that would be too easy right?

In fact, Tom is a large burly man and has a greater tolerance. Drinking 6 beers to him is comparable to 2 beers to the average man. When Lindsey drinks (the few times she does), she becomes extremely reckless. She drives impaired and becomes verbally and physically aggressive with everyone. This is an example of why having an AUD does not necessarily mean constant drinking. In this instance, although Lindsey may not appear to be an alcoholic at first glance, she should still seek out an alcohol addiction treatment center. Although the harm may not be through the alcohol itself, she can still harm herself and her wellbeing when she is drinking through her actions.

4. Neglect of Responsibilities (Family, Work, or School)

The grasp of alcohol or drugs is tight on a chronic user. Over time, the want for alcohol becomes so strong it overrides the brain and eventually, everything that was valued and important becomes second-hand to alcohol. The individual will be ignorant to the full effect of their drinking until it is too late.  A sign will be a decline in ambition; work or school outcomes will decline. Those with an alcohol use disorder will fail to show up to events – especially dry events.

5. Inability to Cease Drinking (Withdrawal Symptoms)

To an individual who abuses alcohol, the intoxicant is obviously valued greatly by them. When asked to give it up, there will be severe hostility towards the idea. Of course, to the average individual, this situation would be neither here nor there. If they do decide to give up the substance, they may go through withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms will make it extremely difficult for the individual to quit. If you attend a long dry-event like an amusement park with this individual, you might start to see them becoming irritable and angry. This is a common visual sign of withdrawal.

Examples of withdrawal symptoms include:

Alcohol can be a dangerous drug to withdrawal from due to delirium tremens. DTs usually start 48 to 72 hours after you put down the glass. These are severe symptoms that include vivid hallucinations and delusions. Only about 5% of people with alcohol withdrawal have them. Some instances can include fatal seizures so if you are a heavy drinker, it is advised to detox in a hospital setting or an inpatient detox.

Treating an Alcohol Use Disorder at an Alcohol Rehab Tampa

If your partner shows signs of heavy drinking, it is never too late to help them. Less than 10% of those who need treatment actually receive it. If you are interested in looking for an alcohol rehab or an alcohol treatment center, Coalition Recovery can help you. Of course, we may not be the right fit for everyone, but nonetheless, we make it our mission to find help for everyone that wants it.

Treatment for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) may include a combination of medication, behavioral therapy, and support groups. Depending on the prevalence of use, an inpatient detox may be needed to supervise the patient and provide the proper medication to avoid withdrawal. Behavioral Therapy use techniques to reshape how an individual views alcohol and more importantly shaping their own view of life to a more positive and productive manner. The intention of group therapy is to build support and comradery.  

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