Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a serious problem affecting about 15 million adults.
Kids aren’t immune either with an estimated 620,000 youths succumbing to AUD.
Alcoholism isn’t always obvious. Many people function well, at least for a while, even while abusing alcohol, which may make it hard to admit there is even an issue.
How can you tell if someone you love has a problem with alcohol? Read on for 5 serious signs of a functional alcoholic.
1. Using Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism
Is your friend or loved one especially prone to using alcohol when under stress? Does she have a few drinks after work every evening to unwind?
A person may seem in control because they’re only having 1-2 drinks in the evening. But using alcohol as a coping mechanism is a bad sign, especially if the person is irritable or anxious when she doesn’t have the routine drink.
2. His Life Revolves Around Drinking
If every situation is an excuse for drinking, that’s a problem. Alcoholism isn’t only when a person gets drunk too often. Even a moderate drinker has a problem if he can’t do things without alcohol.
A person who drinks to the point of intoxication several times a week has an AUD. If possible, steer your friend or loved one toward an Alcoholics Anonymous Program (AA).
AA programs help countless people deal with their alcohol addiction and abuse. They even offer an AA medallion the first time a person attends a meeting. This is a chip that expresses a person’s desire to stop drinking.
3. Increasing the Amount of Alcohol
Did your spouse always drink two drinks after work but now he drinks three? That’s a sign he’s building a tolerance to the alcohol. After a while, the same number of drinks doesn’t offer the same effect.
4. Joking About Drinking
Many alcoholics joke about their drinking. This is an effort to show that drinking is a choice and not an addiction. But how does your friend act when confronted?
If she gets angry or defensive, that’s a sign of a drinking problem.
5. Withdrawal Symptoms
If a person can’t go without a drink without feeling anxious or depressed, they’ve got an AUD. If your loved one gets irritable, nauseated, or tired if he goes without a drink at his usual time, that’s a problem.
That means he’s having withdrawal symptoms from not consuming alcohol. Other signs of withdrawal are heavy sweating, tremors, and mood swings.
Look for These Signs of a Functional Alcoholic
If you suspect a loved one has an alcohol problem, look for these signs of a functional alcoholic. Alcoholics often use alcohol as a coping mechanism and their life revolves around drinking.
Over time, an alcoholic increases the amount of alcohol he drinks because his body has built up a tolerance to the drug. People who joke about their drinking are often functional alcoholics.
Lastly, if someone has withdrawal symptoms when they don’t have a drink, that’s a serious red flag. If you notice these signs, try getting your loved one into a detox program.
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