It’s painful to watch a family member or close friend struggle with excessive drinking. You want the best for them always, and to believe that they have their lives under control. But if you’ve watched the problems mount, you may be wondering, “is my loved one an alcoholic?”
Understanding how to answer that question puts you in a better position to provide your loved one with the caring and support they need. Sometimes, a person with a drinking problem needs to hear uncomfortable truths before they are motivated to seek help.
Asking “is my love one an alcoholic” is not meddling. It’s a statement of love and concern. If you’ve seen things that worry you, you’re right to ask the question.
What is Alcoholism?
Understanding the basics of alcoholism will help answer the question, “is my love one an alcoholic?” Alcoholism is a common and serious illness, also known as alcohol use disorder. Put simply, alcohol-use disorder is when drinking turns from an occasional to a frequent habit and causes severe problems with health, relationships, career, or the law.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that between 15 million and 17 million people in the United States suffer from an alcohol-use disorder. Diagnoses involve more than just a raw number of drinks per day – they depend on how alcohol disrupts your life.
The NIAAA has established guidelines as to what constitutes excessive drinking. For men, fewer than four drinks daily or 14 drinks a week keeps you in the moderate category; for women, it’s three drinks a day and seven drinks a week.
Is My Loved One an Alcoholic?
Alcohol crosses the line into alcoholism when drinking causes significant disruption of relationships, careers, or finances. Here are some of the symptoms to look for if you are wondering, “is my loved one an alcoholic?” The signs are there when your loved one:
- Drinks more than they intended
- Vows to cut down or stop, but can’t
- Is frequently getting sick or experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Orders his or her life around drinking
- Continues to drink despite the problems it causes
A Common Concern
America is a nation of drinkers. Unfortunately, for many reasons, some people go too far. Many. Of the 15 million people diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, about two-thirds are men. The problem affects all ages, including adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age. Sadly, only about 10 percent of the people suffering from an alcohol use disorder receive treatment, according to the NIAAA, or enter alcohol rehab.
Treatment programs for alcohol-use disorder require addiction or psychotherapy that aims to change the behaviors that trigger the problem drinking. Medication that curbs the urge to drink may also be part of your recovery. Often a combination of the two methods produces the best outcomes.
It’s important to realize that alcoholism is a disease that can go into remission but never goes away. Treatment often involves post-counseling support such as self-help programs designed to reduce the chances of relapse. However, even though alcohol use disorder is chronic, it is highly treatable.
Is My Loved One an Alcoholic? Let Right Step Houston Help
Asking the question, “Is my loved one an alcoholic?” is an act of caring and concern. Moving on from there may require professional help from an institution such as Right Step Houston. Don’t go it alone. Our team of accredited addiction counselors provides alcohol addiction treatment along with a full-spectrum of programs of treatment and counseling. Also, we offer counseling such as medical drug detox programs, inpatient drug treatment centers, and outpatient rehab programs, and provide aftercare support to lower the risk of relapse. Contact us at 1.844.768.0169 for a confidential, caring consultation.