When someone you care about starts to show symptoms of alcoholism, it’s important to act quickly and encourage them to seek help. With one in eight American adults struggling with alcohol addiction, your loved one is not alone. While addiction can be tricky to spot, you can watch for the following signs and symptoms.
Spotting Alcoholism in Loved Ones
1. Increased Alcohol Consumption
You may start to notice that your loved one is drinking more, and this gradual increase is cause for concern. This is especially true when they stop feeling the effects of alcohol that more people experience, continuing to drink when others have stopped. You may also notice that they are starting to drink early in the day and avoid events where alcohol is not present.
Your loved one may not be as present as they used to be, skipping social events and falling out of contact. This may be because drinking is taking precedence over activities that they used to enjoy. They may also spend more time drinking and recovering from alcohol’s effects than with their friends and family. Remember that this isolation is a common symptom of addiction, so find ways to reach out and show that you care.
3. Poor Physical Health
Those struggling with alcohol abuse often show physical signs of addiction, as they may prioritize drinking over personal hygiene and health. These signs can include weight loss or gain, hair loss, brittle fingernails, broken capillaries, jaundice, and even early aging. You may also smell alcohol on their breath or notice unusual bruising on their body. Once they start recovery services, their condition will likely improve.
4. Hiding Alcohol
Many individuals living with alcoholism are ashamed of their addiction and will try to hide their drinking. This is particularly true of people who will drink at work, school, or in public places. Sneaking alcohol around and hiding it from others is a sign of dependence, so be sure to look out for this behavior.
5. Neglect of Responsibilities
As alcohol begins to take over your loved one's life, they may start to neglect their obligations. This can include calling out of work, canceling plans, skipping their child’s sports games, or forgetting medical appointments. While this can also be a sign of anxiety, depression, and other mental health health conditions, this neglect is cause for concern. Gently let them know that you have noticed this change and that you can help them seek assistance.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, Daymark Recovery Services is available to help. Serving 28 counties across North Carolina, this facility provides personalized treatment for individuals living with mental illness and addiction. Their programs include medical detox, outpatient treatment, psychosocial rehab, counseling, and in-home services, all of which can be tailored to help patients completely recover. To take the first step in helping yourself or a loved one overcome mental illness or addiction, visit their website today.