One of the most common sayings among addicts when confronted about their addiction is…
“I don’t have a problem!”
That is part of the denial stage. Especially in the beginning stages of the addiction, it can be very easy to be in denial. Typically, someone who struggles from an alcohol addiction does not just one day decide to pick up a bottle, chug it, and just like that they are addicted.
While that can happen, it is not the most common scenario.
But, what usually happens is that an addict will begin with just a few drinks, maybe not even every day, but just a few times a week…
Then, either something tragic happens in their life or the drinking just continuously picks up. But, after a little while it begins to turn into a drinking problem.
However, since it started out not being a problem, it can be hard for the addict to actually see the transition within themselves.
But, there are a few common signs that will help you determine if you or someone you know has a drinking problem:
- Close friends, relatives and/or colleagues begin to express their concern.If people around you are expressing concern or if you are having to express your concern to someone about their drinking, chances are there is a problem. It would not be so noticeable by those around the person if it was just a normal act.
- The person begins drinking as a way of “self-medicating.”Drinking due to problems at work, home, or in social settings can be a means of self-medicating which can also lead to and/or be a sign of a drinking problem.
- There is a noticeable loss of weight and change in appearance.As you drink more and more alcohol, it wears down your body. An occasional drink does not provoke such strong effects, but a drinking problem does. They might begin to slim down in the face or seem noticeably lethargic.
- They are lying about drinking.If you have to hide it then something is wrong. Being secretive is a sign that they are doing something they shouldn’t be doing, such as consuming too much alcohol.
- They have tried to cut back but failed.Maybe they told you they were going to cut back on their alcohol, however, you have noticed otherwise. This could be a sign they have a problem, especially because they might be attempting to be secretive.Either they are trying to hide how much they actually drink by distracting you and saying they will cut back or they couldn’t cut back like they committed to.
- Their drinking habits begin to cause problems in other areas of their life.Maybe you notice their marriage is deteriorating or they have lost their job recently. Any sign of distress in other areas of their life could be a result of a drinking problem.