April is Alcohol Awareness Month… a time to consider if you or anyone in your life may need support for alcohol abuse. Sometimes, it can be challenging to know the difference between normal alcohol use and problematic alcohol abuse. Here you will find alcohol abuse information to help you know when a loved one needs help. Remember, you can always reach out to Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida at 866.294.5306 if you need guidance helping a loved one who needs treatment.
Recognizing the Signs of Alcohol Abuse in a Loved One
Alcohol Awareness Month encourages you to inform yourself about the signs, symptoms, and dangers of alcohol abuse so you can help yourself or a loved one get the treatment needed. Some signs of alcohol abuse may be pretty obvious. Others, however, can be more discreet and easy to overlook. If someone you care about is abusing alcohol, you may spot the following signs:
- Mood swings – They may seem more irritable or edgy than usual. Someone who was typically laid-back and cheerful may become bitter and angry.
- Life revolves around alcohol – The person always seems to be drinking or hungover. If they are not drinking, they often talk about drinking or plan to drink.
- Isolation – They may show little interest in activities that do not involve alcohol. If others are not drinking around them, they may spend more time alone drinking.
- Problems at work or school – The person may be getting into trouble for missing work or classes due to hangovers. If the problem is serious, they may even lose their job or get dismissed from school.
- Decline in physical appearance – If someone abuses alcohol, they can become dehydrated, so their skin may look very dried out, wrinkled, dull, and grayish.
- Smelling of alcohol at inappropriate times – The scent of alcohol can be quite distinguishing. If you smell it on a person on their way to work, before they get in the car to drive, or very early in the day, they may have a problem with alcohol abuse.
If someone you care about is struggling with addiction, you can often sense something is off. To be on the safe side, you may wish to talk with them about your concerns for their well-being.
What to Do When You Notice Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
Some people can be very discreet with their alcohol abuse or may be in the early stages of abuse. It may not be easy to talk to them about suspected alcohol abuse, especially if you are unsure there is a problem. However, Alcohol Awareness Month is all about expanding awareness of alcohol abuse and addressing it as early as possible. You can help someone you love turn their life around and, in some cases, even save their life. If you see symptoms of alcohol abuse in a loved one, you can help by:
- Asking them if they are OK – Sometimes, alcohol abuse is a cry for help, so asking them how they are doing or if they need to talk can open the conversation about getting help.
- Expressing concern about their health – Rather than come across as accusatory, let your loved one know that you are worried about their health. You could bring up some examples of dangerous behaviors or consequences related to their drinking.
- Gently encouraging treatment – Try to remain calm and non-confrontational; otherwise, the person may get defensive. Share some information about local treatment centers with alcohol addiction treatment programs.
- Reaching out to an intervention counselor – If talking with your loved one does not help, or you are hesitant to bring up the subject on your own, you can enlist the help of a professional.
Although your loved one may not be ready and willing to accept treatment at this time, you have opened the door for conversation, and they may reach out to you at a later time.
Call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida When You See Signs of Alcohol Abuse
Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida is always here for people and their families trying to overcome alcohol abuse. Reach out to us at 866.294.5306 to learn how our alcohol addiction treatment programs can help you and your loved ones get through addiction together.