Spotting the Signs of Alcoholism - Someone You Know
Alcohol abuse and problem drinking is far more common than you might think, and true alcoholism particularly is a much more prevalent problem than most people realise. Whether it’s alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence because of some life crisis or shyness, or full blown alcoholism, there is a very good chance you know at least one or two people at home, or at work or maybe one of your friends who has a serious drink problem.
It could be someone really close to you, or someone you have spotted behaving erratically – it could even be one of your parents or your children.
Do You Know an Alcoholic?This quiz below is one created by Al Anon with the specific intention of highlighting any potential problems you may feel about the person concerned. Read through and answer yes to any of those you feel apply to you.
Al Anon is a support group that offers support to the family, spouses and close friends of those whose lives are affected by alcohol issues.
- Do you have a parent, close friend or relative whose drinking upsets you?
- Do you cover up your real feelings by pretending you don't care?
- Does it seem like every holiday is spoiled because of drinking?
- Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else's drinking or what's happening in your home?
- Do you stay out of the house as much as possible because you hate it there?
- Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout?
- Do you feel nobody really loves or cares what happens to you?
- Are you afraid or embarrassed to bring your friends home?
- Do you think the drinker's behaviour is caused by you, other members of your family, friends, or rotten breaks in life?
- Do you believe no one could possibly understand how you feel?
- Do you have money problems because of someone else's drinking?
- Are meal times frequently delayed because of the drinker?
- Have you considered calling the police because of drinking behaviour?
- Have you refused dates out of fear or anxiety?
- Do you think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?
Answering yes to more than two or three of these questions definitely indicates some cause for concern, and the more yeses you have answered, the greater the problem is likely to be. This quiz is aimed largely at those close to the person who has alcohol problems, but equally you could be worried about someone not so close. Bear this in mind when answering the questions.
What Can You Do If Someone You Know Has a Drink Problem?Depending on how close you are to the person concerned, there are a few routes open to you. But first and foremost it really is very important to know that there is little you can do to change an alcoholic. Dealing with the problems has to be something that they come to themselves.
Alcoholism is a disease that the drinker is helpless to resist. The only way for an alcoholic to take control of the illness is to stop completely. You could try talking to the person, and voicing your concerns, but be aware, your interest may not be completely welcome. Mostly they will have to come to some sort of crisis themselves before they are prepared to front up to the issue.
Other Tell-Tale Signs of an AlcoholicWhether the alcoholic is out and about or drinking at home, you will find that their behaviour is different from other people when it comes to drinking. It can be unpleasant, difficult or embarrassing – often starting out as high spirits, but more often than not descending into a messy situation where that person is incoherent, or stumbling about – maybe aggressive or violent.
You will notice they generally drink much more and much more quickly than others, and behave improperly at social gatherings, and can often become argumentative, or withdrawn and tearful. You will also see that their ability to drink a lot is way beyond everyone else – they can drink a huge amount and still keep going.