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Is My Loved One Abusing Alcohol? What to Look for and Where to Get Help

Alcohol addiction can be a scary condition, both for those struggling with the disease and their loved ones. If you are wondering if your loved one is abusing alcohol, it is important to know what to look out for.

There are several alcohol abuse signs and symptoms that you can use to recognize if a loved one is struggling. Knowing these can help you address this issue and find your loved one the treatment programs they need to live a better life.

What Is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of unhealthy drinking. This can include drinking in excess or on a frequent basis and can lead to serious consequences. Some of the most common include health problems, relationship issues, and work troubles.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition. It is characterized by an impaired ability to control alcohol use despite negative consequences. People with AUD have a strong craving for alcohol. These cravings can lead to excess drinking despite experiencing problems in their relationships, work, or health.

Those struggling with AUD often experience extreme tension within their relationships. Their addiction can make it difficult to communicate and relate to the people around them. They may also resort to questionable methods of maintaining their drinking habits.

This can cause both direct or indirect harm to their loved ones, further straining these relationships. If you have experienced living with an alcoholic or otherwise experienced a loved one with a drinking problem, you know better than anyone how difficult this can be.

Watching your loved one become a victim of a drinking disorder is a painful experience. Fortunately, there is help available. Royal Life Centers at Puget Sound offers comprehensive and holistic treatment options for alcohol addiction. We can help your loved one heal from alcohol abuse and begin anew.

How Can I Tell If a Loved One is Abusing Alcohol?

It can be difficult to know for sure if a loved one is abusing alcohol, but there are some signs of alcohol abuse to watch for. Some of the most common behavioral signs of an alcohol use disorder include:

  • Increased secrecy or hiding alcohol consumption.
  • Becoming irritable, defensive, or angry when questioned about drinking.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence (driving drunk, fighting).
  • Neglected responsibilities at work, school, or home due to drinking.
  • Isolating themselves or spending more time with people who drink heavily.
  • Financial problems linked to alcohol spending.

You may also notice physical signs of your loved one’s drinking. Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or unsteady gait are common side effects of intoxication. Over time, their drinking can lead to more severe health effects.

It is important to remember that not everyone who exhibits some of these signs will have an alcohol abuse problem. However, if you notice several of these changes in your loved one, it’s worth having a conversation with them.

You may want to ask them questions about their drinking habits. This can include asking how often they drink, what makes them want to drink, and how they feel when they are drinking. Avoid using labels like “functioning alcoholic” or “addict” as there are stigmas associated with these terms. Understanding the answers to these questions can help you understand their situation, and figure out what kind of help they need when seeking treatment. If you’d like to learn more about helping a loved one, visit our family resources page

Reach Out For Help With Addiction

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction?
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How Can I Help Someone Stop Drinking?

Helping someone quit or reduce their drinking can be challenging, but there are ways you can be supportive and productive. Communication and offering support are two of the best ways you can help a loved one in treating alcoholism. Letting someone know you are there for them is one of the best things you can do. When you discuss a drinking problem with a loved one, here are some points to consider. 

It is important to choose a calm moment to express your concern about their drinking alcohol to excess. Focus on how it’s affecting them, including their health and relationships. Make sure to avoid accusatory language and listen openly. Let them know you are there to listen without judgment. This can be a difficult conversation, so be patient and understanding.

Of course, it is important to remember that recovery is a personal decision. Offer support and resources, but avoid ultimatums. Doing research and having treatment options prepared ahead of time can also help. This can make them feel less overwhelmed and more open to the idea of treatment.

While it is normal to want to help your loved one, taking care of yourself during this time is also important. You can’t force someone to stop drinking, but you can limit your exposure to situations where they might drink excessively. There are also many support systems and resources available to alcoholic loved ones.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Royal Life Centers

Royal Life Centers offers comprehensive and compassionate treatment for alcohol addiction and alcohol withdrawal. Our treatment locations in Washington address a wide range of substance use disorders and behavioral health issues.

Your loved one will have access to a variety of treatment options when recovering at one of our facilities. These include:

  • Medical Detox
  • Residential/Inpatient Care
  • Case Management
  • Behavioral Therapies
  • Tribal Healing

No matter what your loved one’s recovery needs may be, our treatment center is here to help. Our outreach team is available 24/7 with specialty programs to provide the support you need during this difficult time. Reach out to us today to learn more about how our programs can help your loved one get their life back on track.

Lisa Tomsak
Medically Reviewed by Lisa Tomsak, DO

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