It’s often said that there is nothing more difficult than admitting you have an alcohol problem. In reality however, accepting the fact that a close friend or family member genuinely needs help can be even more difficult. With yourself, it’s relatively easy to consider the way you live your life on an everyday basis and evaluate where potential problems exist. When friends or family members have problems, it’s almost inevitable that they will attempt to hide them from you, or deny there’s anything wrong with them to avoid concerning others.
Regardless of who is affected, talking about alcoholism is never easy. Suffice to say therefore, convincing anyone that they need to check into the best alcohol residential rehab centres in the vicinity can seem like an impossible task. Nevertheless, it isn’t until the subject is brought out into the open that it can be honestly, proactively and comprehensively discussed.
The question being – at what point should you been the subject up, with a close friend or family member?
Of course, what are the biggest problems is the way in which each and every person is different, making it difficult to pinpoint what represents problematic behaviour. Nevertheless, there are certain universally applicable signs and symptoms, which both individually and collectively point to potential problems with alcohol that should not be overlooked or ignored.
Their Health Is Suffering
For example, alcohol has the potential to be one of the most harmful substances known to man. Even when consumed in relative moderation, it can still have a devastating effect on both mental and physical health. It is often something of a slow progression, which can make it tricky to identify over time. Nevertheless, if a friend or family member appears to be suffering health problems which may be directly linked with alcohol consumption, they could be struggling with dangerous alcohol dependency.
Repeated Attempts to Cut Down
The only reason any person would ever choose to cut down or quit alcohol consumption entirely is the realisation that doing so would be beneficial for them. It means that for one reason or another, they have accepted that their current drinking habits or not doing them any favours, thus prompting the decision to cut down or quit. However, when such a conscious decision is made and the individual in question fails – perhaps repeatedly – this suggests that they no longer have control over their alcohol consumption. And when you do not have control over alcohol consumption, you have an alcohol problem.
Another strong and often relatively early indicator of an alcohol problem is when the person in question begins encountering or causing relationship difficulties. What happens in such instances is that those concerned begin to prioritise alcohol consumption over the more important people in their lives. Their personality and behaviour, both while under the influence of alcohol and when alcohol is available to them, can put enormous strains on their relationships. This is usually something that becomes relatively obvious to surrounding friends and family members, but will probably be denied consistently by the individual in question.
They Start Lying to You
A little like cutting down or quitting, there really is only one reason why people see it necessary to lie to close friends and family members about their alcohol consumption habits. That being that they have realised what they are doing is detrimental and would rather keep their actions hidden from others. When this happens, it immediately illustrates that the person in question has a) accepted they have a problem and b) cannot seem to do anything about it. All of which means they are facing a potentially serious alcohol problem and could perhaps do with outside intervention.
Other Areas of Life Suffer
Last but not least, while it may come across as something of a cliché in its own right, the classic case of an individual ‘letting him/herself go’ is a highly characteristic sign of alcohol abuse and dependency. This usually comprises dozens of much smaller signs and traits, many of which may be relatively insignificant on their own. Personal hygiene, grooming, clothing choices, performance at work, college attendance rates, sleeping habits and even their general hobbies and interests – notable changes in these kinds of things that may be attributed to alcohol could be tell-tale signs of an emerging problem.
And as is the case with all emerging problems, the key is to make every effort to nip them in the bud, before allowing them to get any worse.
They Have Tried to Quit and Failed
Last but not least, if it has become apparent to you that the individual in question has tried on one or more occasions to cut down or quit alcohol entirely and has failed in doing so, this pretty much confirms that they are no longer in control of their drinking. What defines an addiction or addictive behaviour is falling into the habit of doing something to such an extent where you cannot stop even if you try your hardest and find that it is the habit that controls you, rather than the other way around. Irrespective therefore of whether or not they have acknowledged and accepted they have a problem, trying to quit and failing confirms that professional advice and intervention may be needed.