Alcohol use disorder takes a toll on everybody involved, not just the person doing the drinking. A person assumes their drinking only affects them, while their family and friends also suffer as they watch them decline into the throes of addiction. Family is one of the most important and essential safety and support systems that exists, especially when banding together to face addiction. Living with an alcoholic can be difficult, but help is available.
To learn more about the treatment options provided in our alcohol rehab in Fort Worth, reach out to us today at 844.332.1807. The dedicated staff at Fort Behavioral Health can answer your questions and offer advice and support.
Living With an Alcoholic
Living with an alcoholic is not easy. Their mood swings make them unpredictable and being around them unpleasant. They may have compounding or co-occurring mental health disorders that have not been professionally evaluated or treated that piggyback on their addiction, making each other worse. The constant stress of watching them decline and their health deteriorate in the midst of their addiction is heartbreaking, especially when they are unwilling to acknowledge that there is a problem with their drinking.
It is important to understand that a person who drinks does so for reasons they may not be able to open up about. Trauma, childhood abuse, stress, shame, coping with loss, and numbing the symptoms of untreated mental illness are among these reasons. Always approach your loved one with compassion when trying to speak to them about their addiction because there is always a reason behind the addiction to begin with.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
You may think that the signs of alcohol use disorder are obvious, and you can easily identify when someone has a drinking problem, but covert alcoholics go to great lengths to hide their drinking and are often pretty successful–at least for a while.
Signs of alcohol use disorder include:
- Strong urges to drink or cravings for alcohol
- Inability to control their drinking
- Continuing to drink even when it causes problems at home, work, or school
- Drinking in situations where it is especially dangerous, like while babysitting or driving or with certain health conditions
- Withdrawal symptoms and mood swings when they can not drink
- Blacking out from drinking
- Issues with coordination and balance
- Self-destructive or compulsive behavior
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Delirium or stupor
- Health, hygiene, and self-care decline
- Slow reaction time
Some additional signs of covert or secretive alcohol addiction include:
- Becoming more secretive, withdrawing from family and friends
- Referring to or joking about drinking as self-medication
- Adding alcohol to morning coffee, having too much wine at dinner, etc.
- Binge drinking after meeting home or work obligations for the week
- Uses alcohol to relax or as a reward
- Misses out on family functions or job meetings for unexplained reasons
- May have DUI arrests
- Becoming angry when confronted about the possibility of them having a drinking problem
A person struggling with alcohol addiction must understand that despite alcohol’s prevalence and popularity in society, addiction is a severe illness, and they need to get help to stop drinking. Alcohol abuse can lead to negative long-term effects and even premature death.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Long-term alcohol abuse takes an extreme toll on physical and mental health. Long-term alcohol abusers are at significantly higher risk of developing the following health conditions:
- Brain damage
- Cancers of the throat, mouth, and liver
- Liver cirrhosis
- Neurological diseases
- Alcoholic Alzheimers
- Heart disease or failure
With side effects so severe, one might think it’d be easier to quit drinking. But getting a person to stop drinking means addressing the root cause of their addiction and treating it in tandem with that addiction. Family support is an excellent catalyst for that.
How Can I Help My Loved One?
Most addiction treatment centers provide resources and support to the families of patients as well, and you don’t even need to have a loved one in treatment to reach out for these resources or advice. An admissions counselor could discuss treatment enrollment options with you, which can be especially helpful if you suspect your loved one will not go willingly and need intervention services. Once your loved one has entered treatment, there are programs designed specifically around family involvement that will help you all move forward from addiction. Some of these programs include:
- Family therapy
- Virtual counseling
- Family support groups
- Addiction education programs
- Harm reduction programs
Living with an alcoholic is extremely difficult, but help is available even before you feel yourself hitting a breaking point. Reach out to an addiction treatment specialist today.
Get Effective Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Fort Behavioral Health
Treating the root cause of an addiction is vital to being able to successfully treat that addiction, and Fort Behavioral Health’s co-occurring disorder treatment can help your loved one quit drinking for good. Contact us today at 844.332.1807 or fill out our online form, and we will get back to you.