An alcohol use disorder can be easy to hide, especially for individuals who have been drinking and struggling with alcohol use disorder for some time. Individuals often overlook warning signs that someone has a dependency or addiction to alcohol because they don’t consider things like binge drinking to be dangerous.
Yet this is a form of alcohol abuse and, when done persistently, can heighten the risk of alcohol dependency. Fortunately, there are some obvious hints that your friend is in trouble. Are you wondering how to recognize the signs of an alcoholic friend? Knowing the symptoms can be important when learning how to help an alcoholic friend. Call Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154 today if you or a friend requires substance abuse treatment.
Signs of an Alcoholic Friend
Physicians separate alcohol addiction into three phases. Initially, there is binge drinking. Your friend drinks to excess on weekends or holidays. They wake up with a hangover, but they’re overall safe.
Your friend might engage in risky behavior that may label them as the “life of the party.” More seriously, maybe there are severe lapses in judgment, such as indiscriminate sex or drunk driving. You don’t think of these actions as the signs of an alcoholic. Our society often thinks these things are normal or simple lapses in judgment.
The next stage sees an increase in bingeing behavior. Your friend now also drinks during the week, possibly every night. Hangovers at work have become more common. They might call in sick a lot more. They may attempt to assuage their fears of lack of control by drinking with someone with similar habits or roping you or another friend into their drinking, perhaps by paying for your drinks.
The final stage of alcohol use disorder is daily abuse. The person now drinks to be able to function. Your friend wakes up with shaky hands and needs a drink to calm down. They may sneak alcohol into a water bottle at work, needing it constantly to cope. Some people can perform well and hide the addiction for a while.
Some other signs that a person has problems with alcohol include:
Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
- Changes in appearance or health
- Erratic behavior
- Legal trouble (DUI, etc.)
- Secretive behavior about drinking habits
If you’re noticing signs of someone struggling with alcohol use disorder, it’s essential to seek help.
How to Help an Alcoholic Friend
Talking to a friend about their drinking can be challenging, but it’s essential to try. Remember that they may not be talking openly because they’re ashamed or scared of what might happen if they get help. Some steps to take to help an alcoholic friend include:
- Listen to your friend without judgment
- Express concern for their safety and well-being, not criticism of their drinking habits
- Discuss treatment options if they’re willing to accept help
- Gently suggest that your friend get a medical assessment
- Be available for support and help them find the resources they need
It can be scary to see a friend struggle with substance use. Be sure to also take care of yourself and set boundaries.
Professional Help for Alcohol Use Disorder
There is no shame in seeking out rehab. Addiction is a medical condition. It’s a chronic disease, and just like physical conditions like diabetes, it requires medical attention. Look for a facility that offers detoxification and rehab at the same location.
Doing so eliminates the period between medical and clinical care, which is notorious for relapses. During detox, a person stops drinking. Medical assistance takes some of the pain out of detox. It also protects your friend’s physical safety.
Next comes rehab. Modalities might include:
- Psychotherapy is a means of finding out why someone started reaching for alcohol more and more
- Dual diagnosis treatment for program participants with mental health conditions
- Group therapy that provides peer support and feedback
- Family therapy that invites those closest to your friend for healing
- Nutritional counseling and assistance to return to a healthy lifestyle
- Holistic treatments like yoga, music therapy and art therapy relax the mind and body
If your friend has a problem with alcohol, it’s essential to know the signs of an alcoholic friend so you can help them find treatment. With Santé Center for Healing, your friend can get help for their addiction and regain control of their life.
Help for Alcohol Abuse with Santé Center for Healing
At Santé Center for Healing, we understand the signs of an alcoholic friend. We create tailored, evidence-based treatment plans with personal attention from experienced professionals and a caring team.
We offer detox and rehabilitation services in one location to ensure your loved one can access all the help they need and stay on track long-term. Contact us at 866.238.3154 today.