How to Help a Loved One with Alcohol Abuse Issues

The National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism conducted a study in 2015 to calculate the prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States. The study found that 15.1 million adults above the age of 18 suffer from AUD – this is 6.2% of the age group. In fact, AUD is defined as a highly prevalent and disabling disorder that often goes untreated in the United States.

In order to determine if you or a loved one might be suffering from alcohol abuse, there are a few signs and symptoms to consider. The key is considering the last calendar year when identifying symptoms. If two or three symptoms are relevant, you or a loved one may be suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder. The following are symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder:

  • You find that you/they drink more than originally planned or intended.
  • You/they have tried to cut back but have not been successful.
  • Spend much of your/their time drinking, drunk or hungover.
  • Crave alcohol badly and hardly think of much else.
  • Have personal and professional problems because you/they are often sick or hungover.
  • Quit or cut back from activities once important to you/them in order to drink.
  • Keep drinking alcohol even though it has made you/them feel depressed, anxious or have blackouts.
  • Need to drink more in order to have the same effects.
  • Feel withdrawal when the buzz wears off (i.e., nausea, sweating, shakiness, trouble sleeping, racing heart, etc.).

The key to getting better is admitting there is a problem and seeking help. It may be difficult if you have a loved one suffering from alcohol abuse issues but has perhaps not reached that moment of admittance.  There is no harm in seeking the guidance of a psychological professional to learn how to broach this sensitive topic.

If you are trying to help a loved one tackle the road ahead, contact Advantage Mental Health Center. There are a number of experienced and licensed professionals who are familiar with situations like yours and have the necessary tools to assist.