What Does an Alcoholic Really Look Like?
Popular culture has everyone believing that they know exactly how to spot an alcoholic. From the classic drunks at Moe’s pub in the Simpsons to many other stereotypical alcoholics that exist in today’s media. While those stereotypical archetypes didn’t spring up from nothing, they only describe one type of alcoholic, one that’s loudly crying for help.
In real life, alcoholics are much harder to spot, and while this might not be your job to pick out an alcoholic out of many, it’s helpful to know the symptoms so that you can help your friends or loved ones should the time come.
Below will be a group of signs that you can keep an eye out for should you think that someone might have a problem. If you think that a loved one might have an issue with alcohol, starting a loving conversation is never out of the question and could save their life.
This one might be a little easier to spot, but someone that goes on short or long sprees of drinking could have an alcohol abuse problem. Not everyone who struggles with alcohol drinks every day. Sometimes it will be broken into smaller, shorter sprees, but rest assured, these sprees are just as harmful. The liver can only break so much alcohol down at a time, and if one gives it a set amount every week regardless of the day, they will still experience the same problems that someone who drinks too much every day would.
Binge drinking is more popular among young adults but it can be found in any age group. Binge drinking leads to unique health risks such as alcohol poisoning, but will still yield all the traditional health problems that prolonged drinking will – liver failure, heart problems, cardiovascular issues, etc.
Binge drinking can also be a gateway to a much more serious issue. Maybe one starts only drinking on the weekends, then it gets to the point where they feel more like themselves if they have a drink or two at home after work, so on and so forth, and before one even knows it they have found themselves to be an alcoholic without even realizing it.
Inability to Stop Drinking
This might be a little trickier to spot in most settings – just one more beer, just one more glass, maybe someone has already hit their limit but they want to get just a little more drunk. This is a sign of alcohol abuse, and while they might not have a problem most of the time, that first drink could lead to something that would eventually be outside of their control.
An inability to stop drinking could also look like someone who has sworn off alcohol for good (and not just after a particularly bad hangover) but still continues to drink just a little bit – this is a sign of someone who might have an alcohol abuse problem.
Someone who keeps going back to alcohol – particularly people who consistently let alcohol impede their daily life, are people that are crying out for help. If you or a loved one is consistently letting alcohol get in the way of becoming the person you need to be, reach out for help immediately.
Choosing to Drink Due to Cravings
Feeling like one just “needs” a beer or some sort of alcoholic beverage is something that should be made a note of. This is where dependence starts and where the drinking could end for good if someone is quick enough to recognize the pattern. Casual drinking can make people feel like they need some sort of substance to have a good time or to lighten the mood in a specific way. If one lets this get out of hand, they can forget what life is like without the substance and in a matter of months their life will look like the circumstance that they put themself in.
For some, drinking alone might not be enough. They either want to drink until they’re blackout, or they want to drink to get the courage to do something outlandish. These characteristics are a good sign that they are not treating alcohol with the respect that it demands and might have issues that are not readily seen.
Many individuals will feel as though drinking isn’t quite enough for them, they might try to bring other substances into their drinking to get higher or to prolong the night. In these cases, one really must do their best to make sure that this individual is okay. Get them safe, sober, and when they’re ready, get ready to have a hard conversation.
With all of this in mind, there is still the possibility that people are something called a “dry drunk.” Dry drunks are people who have given up alcohol, but still act the way that they used to when they were dependent on the substance given specific circumstances or specific triggers.
It’s important to know about this because some might think that their friends or family are lying about their sobriety. While it’s good to keep a close eye on recovering alcoholics, this also could be a possibility.
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, reach out to us at ecosoberhouse.com. We are ready and here to help.