When a loved one is suffering from the effects of alcohol addiction, it can be devastating for everyone involved. Unlike drug addiction, which most people understand, there is often a gray area when it comes to recognizing the signs of an alcohol abuse problem. What may appear to outsiders as a social person who enjoys a few drinks may be the beginnings of a deeper issue. Getting help for your loved one is the best way to help them overcome the problem and save their life.

Recognizing the Signs of Alcohol Dependency

Sometimes the signs that a person has a problem are obvious. They may have brushes with the law, be unable to maintain employment and have fractured personal relationships. They may become physically or verbally abusive when they are drinking. They may be unable to function without alcohol. In other times, the behaviors are more subtle. They may seem to enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but in reality, they are using it to self-medicate and deal with life stressors. Other people may just seem overly social, going out to bars as a way to have fun. In reality, these are signs that the person needs help.

Woman Having Counselling Session

Early Identification is Key

Some people believe that a person has to experience a life-changing, traumatic event in order to get help for their addiction. They believe that until the person is faced with an ultimatum that no change can happen. This is not true. A person does not have to hit “rock bottom” in order for them to make the changes that will lead to recovery. Addressing the problem before it becomes overwhelming is often a better strategy than allowing the problem to go unchecked.

Deciding to help a person with a substance abuse problem is not always easy. Many people avoid talking to the person about the problem for fear that it will damage their relationship. There have been cases where people have died from alcohol overdose. Talking to your loved one about the problem is never easy, but it may be necessary in order to save their life.

Common signs that a person is suffering from alcohol addiction include:

-Getting into physical altercations
-Drunk driving convictions or frequent car accidents
-Lying about drinking habits
-Turning to alcohol to solve problems
-Deteriorating relationships with family members
-Missing work or being reprimanded for poor work performance
-Frequent problems with money and finances. The sufferer may have utility shut offs or frequent evictions

Understanding Alcohol Abuse and its Causes

There are many reasons that some people become addicted to alcohol and others do not. There have been studies that suggest that alcoholism is hereditary. If your parents abused alcohol, there is a high likelihood that you will as well. Some people develop alcohol problems in response to stress or life trauma. They use alcohol as a way to deal with problems and not experience the pain as intensely. One can look at MTV’s Ryan Knight & Addiction to see how damaging it can be to use alcohol to self-medicate and deal with problems in life.

The person who needs treatment will often not understand or admit that they need professional help. Few people understand the line between enjoying alcohol and having a full-blown addiction. It may be necessary to stage an intervention or force the person into treatment with the help of other family and friends. If you do decide to intervene, remember to do it in a way that spares the person their dignity and self-respect.

Getting Help for Substance Abuse Issues

There are recovery centers available that will help your loved one get help for alcohol abuse. These centers will provide them with the treatment they need to address the problem and take steps to resolve it. Drug and alcohol treatment centers will work with your loved one to address the root of the problem. They will also help them to develop constructive strategies to deal with their problems in a way that doesn’t involve alcohol.

These treatment centers are staffed with professional counselors, medical doctors and therapists who will combine both medical and behavioral treatment in order to address and solve the substance abuse problem.

The road to recovery is often long and hard. With the support of family and friends and trusted experts, it is possible to fight substance abuse and win. There are many centers across the country that are dedicated to giving your loved one the tools he needs to handle life without resorting to alcohol abuse.