Signs of Alcohol Addiction: Does My Loved One Need Help?

“But I didn’t see any signs of alcohol addiction.” Many friends and family members have said these words countless times with that recognizable look of shock and guilt.

Most times, this happens as they stand by their loved one’s hospital beds after an overdose. Other times, you’ll hear it in family counseling as they try to find solace for not recognizing that they could have helped their loved ones if they had noticed.

But they can’t blame themselves. Detecting alcohol addiction symptoms can be difficult for someone who doesn’t know what to look out for. At Anchored Tides Recovery, we feel it’s important for loved ones of addicts to know the signs of alcohol addiction. 

Identifying the Signs of an Alcohol Addiction

How do you differentiate a weekend of having too much fun from the signs of alcohol addiction? It can be difficult to do this, especially when the individual in question is a functioning addict. 

Functioning addicts can still perform well at their jobs and show up to other aspects of their lives. However, there are a few tell tale signs to watch out for the following signs of alcohol addiction. Please note this isn’t a comprehensive list and addiction looks different for everyone. 

  • Inability to control how much alcohol is consumed
  • Making bad decisions especially when intoxicated
  • Having long bouts of depression 
  • Running into financial problems due to excessive drinking 
  • Increased aggressiveness 
  • Bloodshot eyes and flushed look 
  • Lack of interest in normal activities 
  • General and day to day responsibilities being neglected
  • Bruises from falling and hurting themselves when drunk 
  • Drinking large amounts in one sitting
  • Using alcohol to cope with uncomfortable feelings
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Difficulty concentrating on important tasks
  • Frequent lying
  • Smelling like alcohol frequently 
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain 

When you begin to notice some of these alcohol addiction symptoms consistently, it might be time to help your loved one seek help. If you are unsure whether or not they’re struggling, it might not be a bad idea to check in with them to see how they’re feeling.  They may feel comfortable enough to open up to you, or they may try to hide what’s going on (but you can tell something is wrong). 

How to Get a Loved One Help

Getting help for a loved one who is an alcoholic may be difficult, depending on if they’re in denial of their addiction. Approaching your loved one will be a delicate process, if they feel attacked they can become resentful, distrusting of you, and/or withdrawn. 

One helpful tool to use when confronting a loved one about their alcohol addiction is staging an intervention. It could be just you at the intervention, or with a couple of people they care about. How you also broach the matter is important. 

Every intervention is a little different, but during this time you can talk to them and let them know the signs of alcohol addiction that you’ve noticed. You’ll want to make sure you don’t want to sound accusatory, it’s important to come from a place of love. Because at the end of the day – this is why you’re confronting them, you love them and want to see them do well! 

During this time you can also let them know how their addiction has hurt you and other people who love them. Again, be clear that you are coming from a place of love and concern. 

The end goal of an intervention is to have your loved one accept help for their addiction. The help can be a few different things, such as inpatient rehab or attending alcohol anonymous meetings. It’s important to go to the intervention with different options to present to your loved one if they are willing to accept the help. Knowing that they have people who love them and are ready to support them helps a lot. 

How to Get Yourself Help

As you read this, if you’ve realized that you have many alcohol addiction symptoms and need help, how can you help yourself? The same way you’d help a loved one is how you can help yourself! While you won’t stage an intervention for yourself, you can research different treatment options for addiction and see what makes the most sense for you. 


Get Help at Anchored Tides Recovery!

Anchored Tides Recovery is an addiction treatment center for women by women. We are a dual diagnosis center dedicated to helping women overcome their addiction and avoid relapsing. Contact us today. Let us help you overcome your addiction. 

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