Josh Chandler | July 22, 2015

How do you know your loved one is an alcoholic?

With alcohol so prevalent in today’s society, problem drinking, and alcoholism are on the rise. There are several ways to identify if your loved one is struggling with alcohol or is perhaps an alcoholic. The most noticeable and obvious of warning signs is a change in behavior.

BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS
For someone you have known for a long time, observing a marked change in their behavior can be a definitive indication that they are an alcoholic. Any major change surrounding their behavior when it comes to drinking can be an indication. Certainly, a lack of control in terms of the amount they consume, when they begin drinking, and decisions made around alcohol can be indications that your loved one is an alcoholic. However, very often, behaviors that are not associated with drinking can be indicators as well. For example, if your loved one historically has been punctual and reliable and recently they have become flakey, unreliable and have not been living up to their commitments, this can be an indication that they may be an alcoholic.

FINANCIAL STRUGGLES
Everyone from time to time can go through financial difficulties, however, if your loved one is usually fiscally responsible (regardless of the amount of money they earn) and lately they are having difficulty managing their finances, this can also be a telltale sign of alcoholism. If they are constantly asking to borrow money, or seem to have forgotten their wallets or cash and are being generally unreliable when it comes to financial matters, this can be an indication that your loved one is an alcoholic.

DISHONESTY
Perhaps the biggest warning sign that your loved one is an alcoholic is their relationship with the truth. If your loved one has been known to be an honest person with integrity, and lately they have been telling lies, half-truths, or omitting information from the stories they are telling you, this can be a major warning sign. The alcoholic has a need above all else to protect their drinking, and if telling the truth may get in the way of their ability to continue to drink alcoholically, they will most certainly lie to you and anyone else to protect their drinking.

Any of these warning signs on their own may not be a definitive indication that your loved one is an alcoholic. If you see more than one of the above, or notice several of these behaviors appear at once, it is a clear indication that your loved one is struggling. If it seems on many levels that your loved one has had a dramatic change in personality and they are no longer the person they used to be in your eyes, they are likely to be having a problem with something in their lives. If you have seen this pronounced change in personality, combined with different behaviors related to alcohol, it is likely that your loved one is an alcoholic. In this circumstance, it is best to reach out to a professional for guidance and advice.

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Josh Chandler
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