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Is My Loved One an Alcoholic?

woman laughing in bar while drinking making others wonder Is My Loved One an Alcoholic

Anyone who has seen a loved one fall deeper and deeper under the influence of alcohol has asked themself at one time or another, “Is my loved one an alcoholic?” Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when a person has crossed the line from being simply a heavy drinker to being an alcoholic. It’s a very fine line, and the truth is that even the person themself understands when it has been crossed. There are some telltale signs. However, that can help you better understand when alcohol addiction treatment may be necessary.

A Constant Presence

When trying to answer “Is my loved one an alcoholic” ask yourself how often alcohol is present in their daily activities. Do they insist that they only attend events that allow alcohol? Many people will refuse to attend any event where they are unable to drink if alcohol has become a problem. When they do attend, you can often smell the alcohol on their breath because they had a few drinks before arriving. Alcohol may become part of nearly every conversation, and it will seem at times like nothing is going on that doesn’t involve drinking.

Troubles Everywhere

If there seem to be a lot of problems regarding money or the law, ask yourself, “Is my loved one an alcoholic?” Once the alcohol begins to take on a larger role in a person’s life, they will often start acting in a riskier manner. You might see them driving while under the influence or having frequent sexual encounters with unknown people. They may lose their job or at least miss days and get lower pay. This leads to financial problems and the inability to keep up with the necessary bills. You may also find there are more disagreements with friends and family members. Much of the time, disagreements come up when someone mentions their drinking. All of these can give you a clue as to what is going on. Thus, getting into a men’s rehab program or women’s rehab program is the best course of action.

Personality Changes

Drastic personality changes can also give you your answer to “Is my loved one an alcoholic?” These personality changes can most often be seen when the person is prevented from drinking. They may become argumentative or edgy. You may find yourself being snapped at over seemingly small things. This is because the person feels irritable as their body is fighting the lack of alcohol. While seemingly a minor symptom of withdrawal, sudden personality changes can have severe effects on relationships. A person who has become addicted to alcohol can become downright mean if they are prevented from drinking. Lashing out at friends and family is one thing, but individuals frequently also do so with co-workers or classmates. This, of course, leads to issues with one’s job and can hamper one’s education.

Is My Loved One an Alcoholic? Rockland Recovery Can Help

When a loved one is abusing alcohol they aren’t just hurting themselves. The effects of alcohol use disorder or alcohol addiction ripple out touching not just loved ones but friends and co-workers. So, your next question is normally, “What can I do to help?” The first thing to do is to reach out to your loved one and express your concern. Try to get them to contact us here at Rockland Recovery. By calling us 855.732.4842 and talking with someone about what we can do to help get them back on the road to a sober life, they take the first step in healing. We understand how easy it is for alcohol to take control of your life. We are here to help you get that control back. Not only will our treatment programs address specific needs but our sober living program helps make recovery lasting.

Medically Reviewed by Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Kate is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who has worked in the field of substance abuse for the last nine years. At Rockland Recovery, Kate works to provide resources to the local community and engage and progress Rockland Recovery’s alumni program.


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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to request a confidential call to explore treatment options, ask questions, and receive support from experienced professionals. We know taking this first step can be challenging, but it’s a courageous and important part of the recovery journey.

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