Noticing that your friend, colleague or loved one is possibly in the grip of alcoholism is difficult to come to terms with. There’s concern that you may be blowing it out of proportion, and you may even want to just overlook it to keep the peace. However, if you are concerned that someone’s alcohol use is getting out of control, then chances are, you’re probably right. However, if you’re still not sure, there are some tell-tale signs that you can look for to help you ascertain the situation.
When Drinking Goes Wrong
Though most adults in the United States can drink responsibly and have no problem with alcohol, recent studies from the National Institutes of Health report that up to 15% of the population could be considered “problem drinkers.” Those who could fit into this category include people who regularly drink to excess, those who start their day with a drink or people who drink every night. While everyone’s levels are different, as is every individual, there are clear indications that someone may have a problem with the bottle.
1. They regularly drink too much.
People who have serious problems with booze may not realize when they’ve had too much, and continue to drink long after they should have stopped.
One Gainesville DUI attorney (Florida) talks about the occurrence of blackouts, “Imagine waking up one morning in a jail cell with only a hazy memory of previous night’s events. If this has happened to you, it is very likely because you were arrested for drinking and driving.”
Passing out, or not being able to remember what happened while they were out is also a common problem for those who overindulge. Make a note of times and dates where you’ve noticed that they were intoxicated. By providing them with examples, you can prevent them from denying they have a problem.
2. They may have recently gotten charged with a DUI.
Engaging in dangerous behavior like getting behind the wheel when intoxicated is another major sign of someone who has a problem. If they have been recently arrested or charged with a DUI, it might hopefully be the wakeup call they need to deal with their addiction problems. After they’ve seen their DUI lawyer, help them by giving them information on groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or encourage them to speak to a counselor.
3. They regularly hide their drinking or lie about it.
If you notice that the person you’re concerned about is regularly sneaking off and coming back with booze on their breath, it’s a clear indication that they probably even know they have a problem. Keep an eye out for hidden stashes of alcohol, late night trips to the garbage can or instances where they tell fibs about if they’ve been drinking. Again, having a catalog of incidents can also help with your talk.
4. They may be having problems at work or school.
Frequent absences due to hangovers or being too drunk to leave the house are common signs that drinking has gotten out of control.
If you hear that they have been reprimanded at work or are failing classes at school, it’s time to step in and help them deal with their issues. Speak to employers and teachers if you need further information or examples of their behavior.
Gearing Up For “The Talk”
Chances are you’re probably not the only one who is concerned about your friend or loved one’s ever-growing habit. While you can stage an intervention if it’s gotten to that point, starting out with a one-to-one talk can often be a great way to get the person thinking about how they use and abuse alcohol.
Try writing out your feelings and examples of their behavior before you even get to the meeting. Substance abusers often aren’t aware of the hurt they inflict on those close to them.
Though this meeting isn’t about you, allowing the loved one to see how their actions impact others around them may be helpful. Should you find yourself lost for words, simply read your letter to them. The most important thing is to get the conversation going and find out how you can help.
Talking to your friend or loved one about their possible addiction to alcohol is never easy. There may be denials, and emotions can often run high. Take your time and find the right time and environment to start your discussion. By offering your help, you can assist someone with a problem to change their lives for the better.
Teresa Stewart writes to shine light on the emotional impact that alcoholism holds for friends and families. For this post, she researched Gainesville DUI attorney for information about 1st and 2nd time offenders.
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