You suspect that your friend is showing signs of alcoholism, but you are not sure what they are. Alcoholism is a disease that conditions the body to depend on alcohol and it’s intoxicating effects. Like many alcoholics, your friend doesn’t think they have a problem. Like many people who are close to alcoholics, you suspect that they do, but you want to be sure before you confront them on it. So what are the signs of alcoholism:
1.The ‘lone’ drinker: ( I enjoy drinking alone, that way, no one can judge me. )
If they prefer drinking by themselves and for no particular reason, this is a good sign of alcoholism. What are they trying to hide? Having cocktails with loved ones is considered a social event. Going to the club with friends is normal in today’s society. Even having a beer with a buddy after work is typical in most circles. In the movie Gone With The Wind, Rhett Butler chided Scarlett O’Hara for drinking alone, saying that people always found out and that their reputation would be ruined.
2. Excessive work latenesses and absences: ( I won’t be in today, I don’t feel so good. )
If a person seems to be home more than they are at work because of hangovers, this is another sure sign of alcoholism. This is especially true if this this person’s ‘dream job’; normally, it would be hard to talk this person into taking time off for a major illness. Now, they call out every Monday it seems or every other day after payday.
3. A higher than normal tolerance for alcohol: ( I can drink four forty ounce bottles of such and such and still drive home. )
If a person who used to only drink 2 glasses a day to get a ‘buzz’ now suddenly find themselves needing six bottles of such and such to get a high, this is a powerful sign of alcoholism. Their body has become used to the effects and in order to reach past the plateau, they have to drink either more of their usual or something more potent.
4. Keeping alcohol stashed in secret places: ( If I put it here, no one will find out. )
If a person keeps alcohol hidden in secret places, this is a good sign of alcoholism. Most people who drink have no problem keeping their bottles and cans in a refrigerator, however, alcoholics feel a sense of shame and often resort to hiding them.
5. Withdrawal effects: ( Give me a drink before I die! )
Alcoholics feel the need to drink. If they have to go some time without a shot of something, their body feels the physical pains of withdrawal and those pains will not go away unless they are tended to. Alcoholism is no different than heroin, crack, or sex; they are all addictions and should be treated by a medical provider.
6. Personality manager: ( Drinking makes me life of the party. )
If a person depends on drinking to become more outgoing, this a powerful sign of alcoholism. Alcohol becomes a crutch to be used to be more extroverted in certain situations, and the person will find any excuse to drink, whether it is to a job interview, an audition or to be a presenter.
So if any of these signs jump out at you regarding either yourself or others, you might decide to take action and do something about the problem. If the signs are for yourself then you need to ask for help and possibly seek out alcohol treatment or drug rehab. If the signs are for another person then you might encourage them to do the same. Or, if you are very close to that person, you might seek help for yourself at an Al-anon meeting. Good luck!