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How to Tell It's an Addiction

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by irishrose, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    A loved one drinks alcohol heavily on a regular basis. We only recently discovered this when he moved closer to family. We knew he drank socially and would drink after work at the bar or at home, but did not realize he also drinks pretty steadily all day even on his days off. I try to be understanding, because he has been going through a rough time. He has been underemployed for a while, broke up with his long term significant other, and had to move away from his close friends. When we approached him about his drinking habits, he refused to acknowledge that he drinks more than the average person. I'm also concerned that he may do other drugs as well. Our family wants to cheer him up and get him back on track, but we don't know where to start. Addiction runs in our family.

    How do we determine whether or not he is dealing with an addiction? What is the best way to communicate with him on this?
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    The way you describe his drinking,he definitely is an alcohol addict. Broaching the subject of his addiction has extracted a denial from him. Most alcoholics normally are unwilling to admit that they have a problem and unfortunately unless someone does realize that they do have a problem which needs to be solved, little can be done to convince him otherwise.

    But that doesn't necessarily mean you should do nothing. You can probe gently with the sole intent of trying to get him to admit he has a drinking problem and once he does, nudge him in the direction you want him to head.

    All the best!
  3. lexinonomous

    lexinonomous Community Champion

    With your description of his habits, it seems to me that he does have a drinking problem. This can only get worse if he continues to drink. If you are taking in alcohol daily, it's going to take a toll on your body regardless. It sounds to me lik he doesn't drink just socially, but makes it a big habit.

    I don't think you should completely accuse him of being an alcoholic because this can make someone angry, especially if they are in denial. I would try telling them that you're just a bit concerned because they're showing a lot of the "beginning stages" of alcoholism. That might be a nicer way to word it.
  4. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I agree with this statement. I think if you accuse him of it then he will only avoid you and it will make bad feelings. He will do his best to hide it from you. I think it's best just to talk to him about your concerns. Just bring it up in casual conversation without being accusatory.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Sounds like he had a drinking problem already since he drinks heavily on lots of times and not just occasionally. Maybe more visits and company from the family can make him drink less since he will spend more time on other things.
  6. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    A sure way to know is answer this truthfully (if you know the answer): Did he lose his job due his excessive drinking? If the answer is yes, then yes, he is definitely an alcoholic. In that case only he can decide when it's time for him to get help. The addict is the one who has to decide, and from the sound of it is super likely he won't be jumping in any time soon. Is he even aware he is an alcoholic? I'm guessing he is not :(
  7. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I could really see the reason why he's drinking heavily nowadays. As what you have mentioned, he has just gotten underemployed and broken up with his SO recently, I think he's going through a tough time right now. And he's using alcohol to cope up with all these issues. I guess you just have to give him time and space to think things over. You can approach him regarding his drinking habits, but don't accuse him of anything. He may just seclude himself more.
  8. lexinonomous

    lexinonomous Community Champion

    He is definitely dealing with an addiction if it is effecting his life and the people around him. If it is noticeable, he probably has an addiction to alcohol. Alcoholics are somewhat hard to level with. I know from experience that telling someone they have a problem is not the right way to approach it. I think the best way to approach the issue is to let them know that their drinking is effecting you and that you are experiencing discomfort from it. This worked much better for me than accusations.
  9. dream01maker

    dream01maker Member

    An alcoholic in my opinion is someone who drinks multiple times, everyday. If he's consuming them like you would consume water, I'd definitely say he's an alcoholic. If your noticing this early, there's a good chance you could help him before its to late. My Grandpas drinking got WAY out of control. We didn't see him often BC of a few choices he made(long story) so we didn't know how bad it was until EVERYTIME we got around him he'd be to drunk to function. His drinking got so bad and so heavy, he began to withdrawl after just 24 hrs of not having a beer. He would get dizzy, shaky, sweaty, etc and wouldn't feel better until he popped a beer. His addiction literally became a disease and you don't want your son to go thru that. Its a horrible thing to watch. He didn't want help, he wanted to die. And sadly, his alcohol "disease" as a call it did lead to his death. He let all of his health problem's go, and caught a horrible spinal infection that caused parilization from the kneck down. Had he not been so heavy on alcohol he might have noticed symptoms earlier on. Sorry to give a long story, but I just want you to know how serious alcohol can be. PLEASE GET HIM HELP before it's too late. Best of luck!
  10. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    You have to convince that person to open up. He could be depressed over a personal issue and drugs may not necessarily be part of the picture. Don't jump to conclusions until you hear it straight from him or see a conclusive piece of evidence. You might ask help from experts to extract the truth. Regardless of the outcome, pledge your support. It's a time where he needs his family and friends the most.
  11. larrisa78

    larrisa78 Member

    Most of my family members are alcoholics and it sounds pretty clear from the way you described him he is to. You should talk to him more and become a close friend to him. Someone he can confide in when he's turning to alcohol. If he has people to talk to he might slow down on drinking and turn to you or someone else for comfort instead.

    Most alcoholics drink to escape reality for a while and it makes them feel alive again. At least that's what my family members have told me. Show him new joys in life. Get him to refocus on other things. Drag him out of the house if you have to. Take him to places where there's no alcohol and show him he can be happy without it.
  12. djdrug

    djdrug Community Champion

    Its an addiction. Look, none of what you describe is an excuse to drink like that. But, he will convince himself that those are really valid points and put himself through hell just to numb his senses. Its an addiction and a bad one by the sound of it.
  13. emeraldnights

    emeraldnights Member

    I am so thankful to read this post. My husband's father and both brothers are alcoholics and at times I have been really worried about my husband possibly being one. I've never been around an alcoholic so I do not know enough about it but there are times it seems like my husband drinks daily. He will then go through periods where he doesn't drink at all, which leads me to believe he's fine but when he's drinking daily I do worry. As this runs in his family I feel like it's something he needs to be very careful about but he gets very angry when I bring it up. Thank you for bringing up such an important question.
  14. danidemure

    danidemure Member

    Honestly I would say the best way to tell is to monitor his behavior. Does he have to have a drink early in the day? Does he get upset when he can't get a drink? Does he drink the whole day? To me these are tell-tell signs.

    I would speak to him calmly about it, because he may get defensive. Explain you are just trying to help him get over what hes going through. If you can, do things with him that don't involve liqour.

    Good luck