After spending the holidays drinking heavily, eating with abandon, and focusing on celebration rather than health and wellness, many turn their attention to making healthier choices in January. As part of this process, many decide to stop drinking completely for a month, taking part in Dry January, a 31-day commitment to staying sober.
Though it is not usually an easy choice for people who drink socially, it is impossible for those who are living with an alcohol use disorder. For families who are struggling due to a loved one’s use of or dependence on alcohol, Dry January can be the challenge needed to identify a problem that requires treatment.
Are you concerned that your family member is living with an alcohol use disorder like alcoholism? Here are some signs to look for:
1. Something is off. Often, a simple gut feeling that things are not as they should be is the first indication that a loved one is struggling with alcoholism. You know that things are not as they should be, and there are a lot of issues when it comes to your loved one’s choices and behaviors that are not easily explained away or acceptable.
2. They complain of illness or tend to sleep a lot. Alcohol is a toxin, and drinking heavily leads to physical illness. When someone is addicted to alcohol and levels of the substance in their system drop, they often experience withdrawal symptoms that are far worse than a mere hangover. This can look like illness or excessive time spent sleeping.
3. They often disappear without a plausible reason. Heading out to the store takes hours, or they often say they are “working late” and end up staying away from home far longer than is reasonable. They may also disappear for days at a time with no communication.
4. They often appear to be out of it, silly, or surly without any discernible cause. Acting inappropriately at family events, responding with angry outbursts without reason, or otherwise seeming unfocused while claiming to be fine can indicate a problem.
5. You find things that don’t add up. Charges you don’t recognize or cash gone out of the family bank account, stories that don’t appear to have any evidence to support them, or a lack of an ability to explain erratic behavior when occurring in combination with alcohol use can all mean a substance use disorder like alcoholism.
Next Step: Treatment
If someone you care about is clearly struggling with an alcohol use disorder, take the time to consider how you can best help them connect with treatment. At American Addiction Centers, we offer a First Responder Lifeline Program that is designed specifically to meet the needs of law enforcement officers in crisis. Our unique program provides:
· PTSD assessment to determine if trauma is contributing to alcohol use
· Interactive therapies provided by therapists and medical providers who are trained to work with first responders
· Education and support for family members who would like to take part in the process of recovery
· EAP/MAP interactivity
· Reintegration assistance
What do you need to help your loved one get treatment that will help them start 2018 in recovery? Contact us at (855) 997–6542 today to learn more about the First Responder Lifeline Program and find out how to get started today.