It isn’t always easy to see the signs of alcoholism in others. You might have this sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, but without clear signs, you don’t feel comfortable talking to your loved one about it. Despite what movies and TV shows often show, there aren’t always obvious behaviors that would indicate your loved one has a drinking problem.
There’s no getting around that you’re in a difficult situation. But with the right knowledge, you can get better at seeing the signs of alcoholism in others. And hopefully this will lead to you being better equipped to help a loved one who might be an alcoholic.
If you find yourself asking, “is my loved one an alcoholic?” we’ve gathered five signs to watch for that can help you find answers.
5 Early Signs of Alcoholism
1. Missing Work
One of the early signs of alcoholism is missing work or other important events. Has your loved one become more isolated, lately? Alcoholics often skip work because they are drinking or nursing a hangover.
It’s important that you be on the lookout for isolating and detached behaviors where your loved one stops going into work consistently and spends more time alone to drink. Once missing work becomes a habit, it might be time for you to have an open conversation about the cause.
2. Sudden Changes in Mood
Managing an alcohol addiction can be stressful, and this is no exception for your loved one. Due to how emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting alcoholism is, rapid changes in mood are common. In fact, it’s actually one of the clearer signs of alcoholism in others. If you witness your loved one quickly cycle through mood changes or easily sink into irrational behavior, start to pay attention to how much they’re drinking.
3. Losing Interest in the Things They Love
Are there certain hobbies or activities your loved one used to enjoy that they don’t participate in anymore? Some of the early signs of alcoholism include trading in beloved activities for the opportunity to drink. You can get a better feel for the situation by asking your loved one about their hobbies. By watching for their level of interest, you’ll get an idea of if you should be looking out for other signs.
4. A Habit of Hiding Alcohol
Have you ever caught your loved one drinking alcohol where they’re not supposed to? Maybe sneaking it into school or work? You know that hiding something is often a classic sign that it’s wrong. You should also be watching out for alcohol hidden in your loved one’s home or office, especially if you live with them. If you find a lot of empty bottles lying around or see extra alcohol stashed away in weird places, it’s time to consider that your loved one may have a drinking problem.
5. A Rise in Risky and Dangerous Behavior
Is your loved one doing things that seem completely out of character for them? Drinking tends to lower inhibitions and affects people’s judgment. The most classic example is driving drunk, which puts both your loved one and others on the road in danger.
That doesn’t mean that everyone who is driving drunk is an alcoholic. However, those struggling with alcohol abuse tend to take part in riskier behaviors, like erratic driving, sudden bursts of rage or staying out all night. If behaviors like this have become more of a regular occurrence, it may be time to seek help.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment You Can Trust at Silver Maple Recovery
Exhibiting just one of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one is an alcoholic. There could be many other reasons for why your loved one is acting out. However, if you’ve noticed many of these signs at once, your loved one may, in fact, be struggling with alcohol addiction. And if that’s the case, it’s time to reach out for help.
At Silver Maple Recovery, we use an evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment approach to help your loved one break free from the grips of alcoholism. We have addiction professionals standing by 24/7 to answer your call and help you get the treatment your loved one and family deserves. Contact us today to start your loved one on a journey to recovery.