Alcohol addiction is a serious problem that requires immediate action. Drinking excessively can not only lead a loved one into financial issues but can also risk their relationships and employment.
Someone struggling to deal with alcohol addiction needs all the support they can get from their friends, family, and loved ones. Here are four questions you should ask yourself to help determine whether you need to stage an alcohol abuse intervention for a loved one.
1. Who Do You Suspect Needs Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
Alcoholism can be considered a family disease — not because it is hereditary but more so because of its impact on all family members.
Before planning an intervention for alcoholics, first, make sure that they do need it. People dealing with alcohol addiction often exhibit visible signs and symptoms of their problem. However, there are also high-functioning alcoholics that can continue on with their daily lives without any obvious signs of alcohol use disorder.
Moreover, this is a question you should ask not only yourself but also other people that care about your loved one. It’s best to speak with the people you are planning to work with for the intervention.
2. Are They Physically Dependent on Alcohol?
The next question to ask is whether your loved one exhibits physical dependence on alcohol. Two major physical signs of alcohol dependence are an exceptionally high alcohol tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
These symptoms show up whenever your loved one stops drinking, leading them to continue drinking to avoid such adverse effects.
3. Do They Experience Memory Loss or Blackouts?
Extremely heavy alcohol drinkers report blacking out and experiencing memory loss after binge drinking. Recovering alcoholics also noted failing to remember important life events, including weddings and other celebrations, due to drinking at the time.
This is a question you not only ask yourself — it is a question you should ask your loved one upfront. Memory loss or blackouts are crucial indicators of their need for an intervention and alcohol abuse treatment.
4. Are Other Red Flags or Signs of Alcoholism Present?
There are many other red flags or indicators of alcohol abuse. Observe your loved one to see if they exhibit any of the following behaviors:
- Always finding a reason or excuse to drink alcohol
- Attempting to hide their alcoholism
- Having more than seven drinks per week for women
- Having more than 14 drinks per week for men
- Struggling financially
- Losing control over their emotions
- Physical violence
- Experiencing legal problems due to anger issues
- Other health problems, such as depression and liver damage
Make sure to discuss this with your intervention group. Other people may have noticed signs of physical dependence that you missed.
Act Immediately: Plan an Intervention Today
If you’ve asked yourself these questions and answered positively to all or a few of them, then it is imperative to act immediately. Start planning an alcohol abuse intervention in earnest. Research possible alcohol addiction treatments and reach out to a professional interventionist to help you and your family talk to your loved one.
Remember that alcohol abuse is a progressive issue. It does not resolve itself or get better on its own, often progressing until it causes harm or death.