An alcohol use disorder is easy to hide. Especially for individuals who have been drinking and struggling with alcohol use disorder for some time. Also, individuals often overlook warning signs that someone has a dependency or addiction upon alcohol because they don’t consider things like binge drinking being 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. Would you recognize the signs of an alcoholic? More importantly, would you be able to assist this person with getting help? Sante Center can guide individuals through learning to identify alcohol use disorder and find the right kind of treatment to help themselves or others.
The Three Stages of an Alcohol Use Disorder
Physicians separate alcohol addiction into three phases. Initially, there is binge drinking. Your friend drinks to excess on weekends or holidays. He or she wakes up with a hangover but is okay.
Your friend might do some crazy stunts. Maybe there are serious lapses in judgment such as indiscriminate sex or drunk driving. You don’t think of these actions as the signs of an alcoholic. But this person is getting there.
The next stage sees an increase in bingeing behavior. Your friend now also drinks during the week. Hangovers at work become more common. He or she might call in sick a lot more.
The final stage of alcohol use disorder is the daily abuse. The person now drinks just to function. Your friend wakes up with shaky hands and needs a drink to calm down. Some people can perform well and hide the addiction for a while.
Signs of an Alcoholic Who Needs Help and Doesn’t Know It
You try talking to your friend. He or she says everything is fine. But you notice your friend putting alcohol into a water bottle they sip from frequently while you’re out.
When you visit your friend’s home, you see that there are empty alcohol bottles at the bottom of the trash can. Other stuff is on top. It looks artificial. It’s clear your friend is covering up a habit.
Maybe there are some legal problems. Your friend got a DUI and needs to go to court. Relationship problems aren’t far behind. A spouse or partner might have made an ultimatum to quit drinking or get out.
How to Get Help
These signs are a cry for help. Your friend needs help. Of course, alcoholism treatment is the answer. There is no shame in seeking out rehab.
Addiction is a medical condition. It’s a chronic disease. Just like diabetes, it requires medical attention. Look for a facility that offers detoxification as well as rehab at the same location.
Doing so eliminates the period between medical and clinical care, which is notorious for relapses. At the facility, your friend will stop drinking. Medical assistance takes the pain out of detox. It also protects your friend’s physical safety.
Next comes rehab. Modalities might include:
- Psychotherapy as a means of finding out why someone started reaching for alcohol more and more
- Dual diagnosis treatment for program participants with depression or anxiety disorders
- 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
Don’t ignore the signs of an alcoholic. Help your friend get better today. At the Santé Center for Healing, caring therapists routinely work with people to overcome alcohol addiction. Find out what information your friend needs to check-in. Call 866.238.3154 today.