Worried about your or someone you love's relationship with alcohol? Not all alcoholics fit the stereotype of the down-and-out drunk. Learn to recognize the warning signs in yourself or a loved one.
You Will Need:
• Observation skills
Weigh the importance of alcohol to you or a loved one. Is there a general preoccupation with drinking, like when, where, and with whom the next round will begin? Is it difficult to stop drinking once it starts, or to stick to a limit? Is a life without drinking impossible to imagine?
Consider how much alcohol is consumed. Does drinking take place on a daily basis? Is binge drinking — more than five drinks in one sitting — a commonplace event? Do hangovers and blackouts occur frequently?
Examine the motives for drinking. Using alcohol as a mood enhancer or coping mechanism is common among alcoholics.
Think about the guilt, if any, associated with drinking. Have there been promises to cut down? Lies told about the amount consumed, or about drinking altogether?
Measure tolerance for alcohol. Being able to consume a lot of liquor with few signs of intoxication is not a badge of honor; it's a sign of addiction.
Don't be fooled by the ability to hold down a job. As many as half of the 18 million American alcoholics are considered high-functioning, meaning they can spend years maintaining the facade of a normal life while drinking to excess, until something catastrophic happens.
If you see these signs in yourself or a loved one, call The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service toll free at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for help.
Trivia: According to one study, 10% of the U.S. population's drinkers imbibe 50% of all alcohol consumed.