Signs Drinking has Become a Problem
Alcohol addiction will impact a person’s life in ways that are unique to you. There is no formula for developing an addiction, it develops over time for individual circumstances that are often rooted within past traumas or challenging emotions. Alcoholism can take a variety of forms depending on the severity of your drinking patterns that will impact your physical, emotional, mental, and social health. There is often a stigma and negative perception of how an individual addicted to alcohol will present. Many will think of an alcoholic as someone that is experiencing poverty, loss of employment, and has the inability to take care of themselves or their basic needs. It is important to remember that addiction can happen to anyone and although you may be living with an active addiction, there are some individuals that are able to maintain their way of life including jobs, school commitments, and family responsibilities all while battling alcohol addiction. Each person living with an alcohol use disorder will exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms that will indicate that your drinking has become a problem. Below are some common signs that drinking has become a problem:
- Expressing a desire to quit drinking but experiencing failed attempts at doing so
- Being secretive about your drinking patterns or lying to others about your alcohol consumption
- Declining to participate in activities that you once enjoyed due to your drinking behaviors
- Becoming isolated from your loved ones and others
- Change in a social group to one that is centered around drinking alcohol
- A significant amount of your time is devoted to drinking alcohol, thinking about drinking, or planning for when you will drink next
- Developing a tolerance for alcohol requires you need to drink more to reach the same desired effect
- Choosing to drink rather than follow through with commitments or obligations
- Engaging in high-risk activities while drinking including driving while impaired
- Experiencing difficulties in performance within your job or school
- Facing relationship problems with friends or family due to your alcohol consumption
- Continuing to drink alcohol after you experience problems with your physical, emotional, or mental health or within your relationships
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you are not drinking alcohol
- Drinking alcohol as a way to minimize any presenting withdrawal symptoms
- When you are not drinking alcohol, experiencing strong cravings for alcohol
If you or a loved one is suffering from any form of addiction or abuse, please call Sylvan Detox at (818) 308-3099.
How To Talk to Someone with a Drinking Problem
If you have a loved one that you are concerned about their drinking problem, you want what is best for them and would do whatever you can to ensure that they get the help that they need. While your intentions are good for wanting to help, it can be challenging to know how to approach your loved one and express your concerns. You may be worried that you will upset them or inadvertently be pushing them away. You recognize that your loved one is struggling with addiction but also understand that reaching out for help or admitting you need help can be a scary place to be. There are ways to approach your loved ones that will be supportive and open up the lines of communication.
Before approaching your loved one about their alcohol addiction, consider these tips prior to doing so:
- Plan and prepare for your conversation- Come prepared with what you want to say which can include what you have noticed about their drinking behaviors, and how you want to approach them, and be mentally prepared for any reaction so that you can remain calm and empathetic throughout your conversation.
- When having the conversation, stay focused on your concerns about their drinking. Use “I” statements such as “I am concerned about your alcohol consumption as I have noticed it begins to impact your day-to-day life”. These statements avoid placing blame or shame on someone and allow your loved ones to see that you care for their wellbeing
- Genuinely express your concern and worry for your loved ones. This allows your loved ones to see and feel how the support and love that they have from you help to reaffirm that they are not alone in their journey with addiction
- Avoid using labels such as alcoholic or addict. These terms can feel judgmental and demeaning for someone living with addiction which can cause defensiveness within the person
- Provide options and resources rather than give demands on what the person will do next. Providing individuals with a sense of choice in their recovery journey will foster autonomy and help a person create a feeling of ownership and accountability to follow through with a treatment option that is chosen by them.
Helping Someone Through Alcohol Treatment and Recovery
Once your loved one has made the courageous decision to seek help through an addiction treatment program, there are steps you can take to provide them with the support they need while they undergo this important, life-changing journey. The first step you can take for your loved one is to educate yourself about addiction and recovery. Addiction is a complex disorder and is individualized to each person that is living with it. Understanding how alcohol addiction impacts a person’s physical, mental, and behavioral health will support you in understanding the behaviors and emotions that someone with an alcohol addiction will face and allow you to be empathetic and understanding as they progress through their recovery journey. It is important that you remember each person in addiction and within recovery will have their own unique journey and challenges that are presented. Don’t place unreasonable expectations on your loved one but rather be there and come from a place of curiosity and understanding as they navigate their new way of life in sober living and addiction recovery.
Once your loved one completes their addiction treatment program and transitions back home, there are some steps that you can take to support them in this critical time of transition back into the home environment in that they once engaged in alcohol abuse including:
- Provide your loved ones with opportunities to engage in sober, social activities.
- Avoid attending any social gatherings or events that will have alcohol or substance abuse present
- Remove any alcohol or substances from the home
- Support them in finding and building new relationships with others in sober living
- Be available for support if they encounter any challenges and provide emotional support or resources to help them through this transition
What If They Don’t Want Help for Alcohol Addiction?
Witnessing a loved one struggle with alcohol addiction is scary. As you witness the impacts that their drinking is having on their life, you want to get them the help they need so that they can safely overcome their addiction. However, there are times when some people are not ready to address their alcohol addiction and receive support through an addiction treatment program. While you can’t force someone to get help through an addiction treatment program, there are some ways that you can support them and yourself as they continue with their alcohol abuse:
- Accept their choice and recognize that they need to make the decision to get help. It is common to want to beg or plead with your loved one to get help each day but it is important to remember that they will need to come to that choice on their own. You can express your concerns and allow them to make the decision.
- Set boundaries with your loved one. Many people in active addiction will turn to their loved ones to support them in maintaining their addiction and look for you to enable their behaviors. Setting boundaries within your relationship will communicate with your loved ones how you will be available to support them when they are ready to seek help and what you are unwilling to do for them that will enable their addiction
- Avoid using shame or blame. Individuals in active addiction will often already have feelings of shame and guilt around their addiction. When loved ones place these upon each other, it can create feelings of defensiveness and create hostility and distrust each other.
- Acknowledge and empathize with how challenging addiction can be. Coming from a place of understanding allows others to feel validated in their experiences and often will open up communication. Once they are ready to seek treatment, they know that you are a safe person to open up to about the struggles of addiction and their desire to get help.
- Take care of yourself. This is the most important step as watching the effects of addiction on your loved ones can take a toll on you. Your health and well-being are just as important as your loved ones so it is important that you take the time you need for self-care to maintain your physical and mental health.
Sylvan Detox Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Sylvan Detox is a luxury rehab program that will provide you or your loved ones with an alcohol treatment program that will support you in safely addressing and healing from your root causes of addiction. We value that each patient that comes to us has their own unique experiences with drug or alcohol addiction and provide each patient with an individualized treatment plan that will be centered around your unique needs and goals for addiction recovery. Patients will be provided with leading evidence-based therapy methods along with access to our luxury amenities that will foster maximum comfort to ensure your healing experience within our recovery center will foster personal growth and support you to achieve your goals of living in addiction recovery. Call us today at (818) 308-3099 to start your road to recovery now and put your alcohol abuse in your past to embrace a new life of sober living.