It starts out with a beer during the game, or a martini after work. But slowly, alcohol has become an essential part of your loved one’s life, to the point where you have genuine concerns. How do you know when it’s time to seek alcohol treatment and rehab?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 17 million adults over 18 have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Their research shows that approximately one-third of the people who seek help have no symptoms of AUD a year later. But getting treatment is essential.
These signs are indicators that the time has come to seek professional help for your loved one:
If your loved one is hiding the amount he or she is drinking, it’s a clear sign there’s a problem. If you find empty vodka bottles in the trashcan, for instance, you need to talk to your loved one about getting help.
Inability to Control Alcohol Use
Does your loved one promise to only have one drink, yet finishes a case of beer in an evening? Does he or she drink even when taking prescriptions that warn not to mix with alcohol? If the person is drinking at times when it is inappropriate or even dangerous, it’s a red flag that alcohol treatment is necessary.
An Increased Tolerance to Alcohol
Those who drink on a frequent basis build an increased tolerance and are able to consume ever-increasing amounts without feeling the effects of alcohol. If you notice your loved one needs to drink more to achieve a “buzz,” he or she should seek help.
When alcohol takes over a person’s life, everything else is pushed aside, including regular responsibilities. If your loved one suddenly misses work, starts failing in school, or neglects his or her family, it’s an indicator that alcohol use is at a dangerous level.
Those under the influence of alcohol may partake in behavior dangerous to themselves and others. For example, if your loved one has ever driven while buzzed or drunk, it’s time to find an alcohol rehab. Another red flag—evidence of injuries or accidents the person cannot explain.
While under the influence, a loved one may be arrested for a variety of reasons, including public drunkenness, violence, disorderly conduct, or even driving while under the influence. Before it reaches the point where the person loses his or her freedom, help should be sought.
A doctor can pinpoint the physical problems your loved one is experiencing as a consequence of drinking, such as heart or liver damage. However, some physical signs are visible even to the untrained. If the person has a loss of appetite, decreased libido, unsteadiness, red or puffy face, or withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, cramps or nausea, drinking may be the source of the problem.
Blackouts—the loss of memory after sustained drinking—are a major indicator that alcohol use has become a problem. There’s no telling what a person can do to himself or others while experiencing amnesia caused by alcohol. If you know someone who has experienced such blackouts, getting immediate help is crucial.
Alcohol abuse can cost your loved one his or her freedom, livelihood, relationships and even life. If you recognize one or more of these warning signs in a loved one who drinks, you don’t have to go it alone. Our trained admissions counselors can answer your questions and address any concerns. Call 866-349-1770 to learn more about the steps to recovery.