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Signs of an Alcoholic

Editor Dan Schimmel, LCSW, CAP
Created On
Updated On

Do you believe that a family member or friend is relying too heavily on alcohol? Are you concerned that this person is exhibiting signs of alcoholism?

It can be difficult to differentiate the signs of an alcoholic and the signs of somebody who likes to drink from time to time.

How to Know if Someone is an Alcoholic

As you dig around and continue to ponder the best way to help, here are some of the many signs that may point towards a person abusing alcohol:

  • The person drinks on a daily basis, regardless of what is going on in his or her life.
  • Changes to his or her social life, such as hanging out with people who share the same interest in alcohol.
  • “Black out” as the result of having too much to drink.
  • Deny having a drinking problem, despite the fact that you, among others, can see this from the outside.
  • Having a negative effect on his or her performance at work and/or school.
  • Neglecting responsibilities because of an obsession with alcohol.

Things you Shouldn’t Do

Your primary goal is to get the person the help they need to overcome their addiction to alcohol. While this sounds simple enough, you may run into resistance along the way.

Here are five things you should never do:

  • Don’t talk down on the person.
  • Don’t make excuses for his or her behavior.
  • Don’t argue with the person.
  • Don’t take over responsibilities for the person.
  • Don’t feel guilty for the way he or she is acting.

As you avoid these things, you should focus on explaining to the person how much you care and what you can do for them. For example, let them know that there is help to be had if they are interested in learning more. At first, the person may shun your help. However, they may change their mind over time as they begin to think about the future.

If you realize that somebody in your life is addicted to alcohol, it is time to take action. The help you provide may be just what the person needs to improve their situation and kick alcohol to the curb for good.

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So How Can we Help?

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