5 Red Flags of a Secret Alcoholic
Did you know only 20 percent of people diagnosed with alcohol abuse issues seek help?
Alcohol addiction can destroy personal relationships. Over time, it can even lead to life-threatening ailments such as cirrhosis.
The scariest part about alcohol addiction is that it’s often easy to conceal. Someone near and dear to your heart could be a secret alcoholic and you wouldn’t know until it’s too late. However, there are some red flags you should pay attention to.
This article will take a look at five of the biggest warning signs of a secret alcoholic. Keep reading to find out how you can tell if your loved one is hiding a grueling battle with alcoholism.
1. Hidden Vodka Use
Keep your eyes peeled for subtle signs of the secret alcoholics favorite drink: vodka.
Vodka’s main appeal is its clear appearance, which makes it hard to distinguish from water. Plus, it doesn’t have the strong stench of many other alcoholic beverages.
Look for any loose vodka bottles as well as receipts with vodka on them. Also, see if you notice your loved one pouring a clear liquid in their coffee or juice.
2. High Alcohol Tolerance
Another elusive red flag of alcoholism is an unusually high tolerance to alcohol.
Factors such as weight, height, and gender all affect alcohol tolerance. However, an alcoholic’s body responds to alcohol differently than the average person’s.
Therefore, be careful if your loved one can drink more than someone else their size and gender.
3. Odd Mood Swings
Without enough alcohol in their system, alcoholics may seem irritable, nervous, or sick. These are all classic symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
You may notice completely unpredictable emotional patterns in your loved one. They might be calm one minute and wildly hostile the next. These signs of irritability can appear only 6-12 hours after their last drink.
4. Difficulty Remembering Things
Alcohol doesn’t just affect mood. It can also impair the memory of a drinker.
Some issues with memory are short-term. For example, even moderate drinkers may suffer from mild impairment. That said, heavier drinkers often experience blackouts, which are much more serious.
It’s possible for an extreme alcoholic to experience long-term brain damage. At that point, even sobriety won’t repair their brain completely. But alcoholics can prevent further damage if they stop drinking.
5. Social Withdrawal
To conceal their drinking, some alcoholics avoid social gatherings. This is a major red flag if the person was extremely social before.
Isolation is a common symptom of depression. But it can also signal alcohol addiction. Often, the two issues go hand in hand.
If you notice your loved one acting more secretive than usual, don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
Getting Help for a Secret Alcoholic
Alcoholism can stem from biological causes. This makes the disease difficult to overcome alone.
If you’re convinced someone you love is a secret alcoholic, don’t sit idly by. While you cannot force anyone to seek treatment, you can help guide them in the right direction.
Start the path to sobriety with an intervention. However, make sure you conduct it in a private setting. Also, talk to them when they appear to be sober.
During the intervention, stay calm, supportive, and specific. Make sure to let your loved one know you’ll always be there to help them. Inform them of the consequences of their actions as well.
When everyone is ready to take the next step, contact us for information about treatment.
Reviewed and Assessed by
Taylor Brown, B.A.Com., MAADC II
Tim Coleman, M. of Ed.