Needing Private Alcohol Addiction Rehab: What are the Signs?

It’s never really easy to tell whether you have an addiction or not. Unlike what TV may suggest, there are no really obvious signs of alcohol addiction. Addicts don’t necessarily slur their speech, or starts fights, or mess up at work, after all. Some are even perfectly functioning for most of their waking life. An alcoholic is just as likely to wear a smartly pressed suit as the next person. So what is it that makes someone an alcoholic? At what point do they need private alcohol addiction rehab?

There are some warning signs that can help identify whether or not someone is suffering from an alcohol addiction, although of course this does warrant a disclaimer.

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This is not an exhaustive, full-proof guide to help you identify alcoholics. This is merely a stepping stone towards helping you decide whether you or a friend might have an alcohol addiction. People showing these signs aren’t necessarily people in need of private alcohol addiction rehab. It’s entirely possible they suffer from something with similar symptoms, or aren’t suffering from anything at all. So never try to diagnose someone without first consulting a GP or expert on the matter, and never think that you “know” whether someone may or may not have an addiction otherwise. 

You should also consider the difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency/addiction. People who abuse alcohol still have, to some extent, an ability to control and limit how much alcohol they imbibe, even if that amount is self-destructive. People suffering from alcohol addiction, or alcoholics, tend not to be able to set those limits, and also suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they go without alcohol. They cannot quit even if they want to.

Not everyone who commits alcohol abuse will necessarily become an alcoholic, but of course it does make them more likely.

So what signs should you look out for, before you call a GP or private alcohol addiction rehab centre for further advice?

  • Comments from peers. Perhaps the most obvious warning sign is if friends start making comments about the amount you’re drinking. These comments frequently start long before the subject in question even realises they may have a problem. Often people may try to avoid these comments by hiding or lying about their drinking habits. If this happens, try instead to limit your drinking. The ideal limit is, generally, one drink a day for women and two for men.
  • Comments from your doctor. The extreme end of the above sign. If a doctor mentions your drinking habits, pay very close attention.
  • Alcohol dominates your routine. If you start planning your social outings and plans around alcohol, you may want to consider whether or not you may be seeing another symptom. When you go round a friend’s house, do you ask for tea or a drink? When you go out for a meal, do you immediately go for a beer or a glass of wine? Try going for an alternative option. Instead of going to a bar, go for a walk. Instead of a glass of wine, try a soft drink.
  • Alcohol is your stress relief. If you come back from a really hard day at work, or you’ve just had a serious argument with a loved one, how do you cope? If in the majority of cases you reach for an alcoholic drink that may be an indicator of an addiction. If that happens, try looking for other ways of relieving stress. Get a stress ball, go for a walk or meditate. 
  • You’re worried about your drinking. This is perhaps the most sure fire sign. If you find yourself questioning your drinking habits, you might want to consider looking for expert advice and help. 

Again, this is not an exhaustive or authoritative list, and having one or even several of these symptoms does not mean you are definitely in need of a private alcohol addiction rehab clinic. Instead, just seek advice. Visit your GP, talk with a trusted friend or relative, or seek information from an authorised source. There is no need to worry yourself unnecessarily.

If you’re worried about a friend, again don’t push them. You can mention it, and maybe even recommend that they see someone about it, but remember that admitting to an addiction -- assuming there even is one -- is a very trying step. Forcing someone to confront it may make the situation worse, and jeopardise your relationship with them to boot.

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