It’s one thing to grab a casual drink after work and another to finish an entire bottle on a regular basis. Similarly, as much as it can be fun to drink socially, there’s no reason to drink at every gathering with friends and family.
These are just two signs you may be living with an alcoholic. Alcoholism consumes the mind and makes drinking a priority for the person in question. He or she can’t go a day without a drink, and more often than not, drinking is the number one thing on their mind.
But, there are more subtle ways that alcoholism creeps into the home. If you think your spouse, child, or roommate has a drinking problem, here are ten signs to look for.
1. Lies and Unusual Behavior
Lying is arguably the only thing better than drinking that an alcoholic can do – and they hold their liquor pretty well. With this bad habit, comes the guilt and fear of being caught to cover up the tracks of drinking.
An alcoholic’s lies may start small. They may say they are going out for dinner but really go straight to a bar. They may mention a special event or a work celebration as the reason for going out when there is really no reason at all to be drinking.
If the person feels you may be aware you’re living with an alcoholic, they will try even harder to cover up their problem. This is when odd behavior becomes apparent.
2. Extreme Mood Swings
Mood swings are one of the many odd things alcoholics experience. These aren’t from the pressure of lying and feeling guilty. They are a direct result of the need to drink.
Many alcoholics begin drinking heavily to avoid another issue in their life. When they start to sober up, those issues hit harder and stir stronger, more intense emotions. Mood swings may also be the result of withdrawals, which happen if the alcoholic can’t quench their thirst for a drink.
3. Blackouts and Intense Binge Drinking Episodes
There are mood swings that occur as a result of being sober for “too long”, then there are blackouts and extreme drinking episodes that happen.
You may be living with an alcoholic if they need to blackout – throw up, pass out, etc – every time they start drinking. Or, if the person doesn’t know how to put down a drink, there’s a chance of alcoholism as well.
4. Hidden Bottles of Alcohol
Maybe you’re having trouble putting the pieces of alcoholism together. When you start finding hidden bottles in the bedroom, bathroom, closet, or dresser drawers, the message should be loud and clear.
Hidden bottles of alcohol are the sign of deeper issues a person is hiding. You’re living with an alcoholic if they keep a stash to themselves, especially if there are random stashes all over the house.
5. Medical Issues Related to Alcohol
While alcoholics may try to hide bottles of booze and drinking activities in general, there’s no denying the need for medical attention. Alcoholism can result in:
- balance problems
- hearing loss
- memory loss
- slowed reaction times
These are just a few medical conditions to look out for. If your loved one is having trouble moving around the house, can’t remember simple conversations you’ve had, or is always on edge, you may be living with an alcoholic.
6. Harm Done to You or Others in the Home
Just as alcoholism can create significant harm on the addict’s mind and body, it can cause them to harm you. Maybe you’ve already felt the emotional toll of living with an alcoholic. If not, you may be on the verge of realizing just how dangerous this issue can be.
Alcoholics lose control of their senses. They may hit you with a harsh comment that hits a sore part of your relationship, or actually strike at you with their body or another object. Children, pets, and other people in the home are at risk of this, too.
7. Avoidance, Lack of Interest, Checking out
Another way alcoholism causes pain is the emotional pain of living with someone who has “checked out.” The use of alcohol can cause a significant lack of interest in many activities.
An alcoholic may start to avoid those they care about just so they can drink. They may stop doing the things they used to love – like play music, watch movies, or go to the beach/park/theater. All that matters after a certain point is drinking, everything else feels pointless from an alcoholic’s perspective.
8. A DUI
Maybe the alcoholic in your home isn’t showing the sign mentioned above at all. Maybe, they are always out of the house and finding new places to drink.
At some point or another, this can end up in a DUI. Not all DUIs are a sure sign that someone is an alcoholic. But, if your loved one gets a DUI and is also showing other signs on this list, the DUI may be the last straw before you start seeking help.
9. Other Legal Altercations
As impaired as a person’s judgment can get while drinking, even some alcoholics won’t try to drive under the influence. But, they may engage in bar fights, try to steal alcohol, or get charged with public intoxication or indecency.
These can all have very serious legal consequences. Depending on the extremity of the situation, your loved one may end up in jail or have to make bond before being allowed to come home.
10. False Promises
False promises are the last thing to watch out for. Maybe you’ve already confronted the fact that you’re living with an alcoholic and asked the person to clean up their act. Maybe this person has sworn to you over and over that they’ll stop drinking, only to pick this habit back up again.
No matter the bond you share and the love you have for this person, you can’t always win the fight against alcoholism alone. You have to check this person into a treatment center where their promises won’t be empty anymore.
Go From Living with an Alcoholic to Celebrating a Loved One’s Recovery
If you’re living with an alcoholic, the good news is there’s hope for better days. Alcoholism does not have to be a given part of life. Even the worst of alcoholics have turned around their life.
But, most of them have done so with professional help, like the treatment available at Paramount Recovery Center. To find out how we can guide your loved one through recovery, click here.