Alcoholism Can Destroy a Relationship
Learn the Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
Are you worried that your husband or wife could be an alcoholic? Are you unsure about how you can tell, and where you can turn for help? Do other people tell you that you are just being too conservative, too up-tight, or too religious? Do you believe that true alcoholics are homeless or unsuccessful; therefore the person you love can't possibly be an alcoholic? Do you sometimes feel guilty because you and your children have ridden in the car with your spouse when you know they have had too much to drink? If you are even thinking about these questions, or feel a sincere alcohol concern over the drinking behavior of your spouse, the information below may help you decide if there really is a problem in your family.
Alcoholism Signs and Symptoms
Most medical professionals who deal with alcoholism realize that there are specific symptoms that indicate that someone may have an addiction to alcohol that should cause concern. After reviewing several medical sites, including the Mayo Clinic website, here is a list of some symptoms which usually indicate that the drinker needs to seek medical help for their problem:
Does the drinker need to keep consuming more and more alcohol in order to feel satisfied? If so, they may find it very hard to stick to a limit, and will frequently over-indulge.
Does the drinker seem to think about alcohol frequently and often takes it into consideration when planning their social events and other activities? For example, they may prefer not to attend social events if no drinking will be allowed there.
Is the drinker having legal problems because of alcohol, such as having received a DUI?
Is the drinker having problems with their relationships? If you are feeling some alcohol concern about the drinking pattern of your spouse then, of course, your relationship may be strained. However, has their drinking also caused problems with other people, such as old friends, your children, your spouse’s parents, employers, or your neighbors?
Do you suspect that the drinker is consuming alcohol in secret? Do they make frequent trips to the garage, basement or bathroom without a reasonable explanation? Do they constantly rinse their mouth out with mouthwash, chew gum or suck on hard candy to cover up the smell of alcohol on their breath? Do you find bottles of alcohol hidden in strange places?
Does the drinker keep forgetting conversations or commitments? This could be a sign that they are experiencing black-outs.
Does the drinker frequently complain about having the “flu” in the morning because they are experiencing sweating and nausea?
Does the drinker frequently drink when they get up in the morning, as a hangover cure, or just “to get going?”
If the drinker is a man, does he ever have more than five drinks in a day? If the drinker is a woman, does she ever drink more than four drinks in a day? The Mayo Clinic included these specific amounts on their list of symptoms of alcohol abuse.
If you think that you or your spouse could have a problem, you may want to use this quick Amazon.com link to "The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book." In contains invaluable information.
Only the drinkers themselves can decide if they are alcoholics. However, if you have a spouse who is a heavy drinker, and you believe the answer to even one of the above questions would be “yes” then you may want to seek help for yourself, even if you cannot get the drinker to seek help. Hopefully they will eventually realize that they have a problem. Until then, where can you, the person who does not have a drinking problem, go to find help?
Alanon Family Groups offers Encouragement and Help for the Families of Alcoholics
Alanon Family Groups is an organization that holds meetings around the world. The only requirement they have for joining is that you must be concerned about someone else’s drinking. Your alcohol concern can be for your child, parent, spouse or friend. In fact, many members of Alanon quickly realize that they have more than one person who “qualifies” them to belong to Alanon.
Within the United States, virtually every county has an Alanon Central Office. This office will give you information about where meetings are being held in your area. Usually they will print a meeting directory. Alanon meetings are also held in major cities around the world. In addition, there is a national website at al-anon.alateen.org. Or, you can call the national office of Alanon in Virginia Beach at (757) 563-1600. However you contact Alanon, you will quickly learn that they will be able to help you restore some peace and sanity to your life.
One of the ways that you will find Alanon helpful is through their meetings. The meetings are anonymous. The other people you meet there are also dealing with an alcoholic family member. They will not reveal to your friends and family that they saw you at an Alanon meeting, and they hope that you will not reveal that information to their friends or family members, either. There is no fee to attend a meeting, although they usually ask that you make a donation of a dollar or two. At the meetings, you will generally hear some readings from Alanon literature, followed by either a speaker or a general discussion. In either situation, you will learn about some of the ways that other people have learned to deal with their own alcoholic situation, and you may learn some techniques that will also help you.
In addition to the meetings, you will want to obtain some Alanon literature. Brochures are usually available at the meetings for free, and some books are typically offered for sale. You can also purchase many of the books online at Amazon.com.
If you are interested in learning more about alcoholism treatments or Alanon, you may also want to read some of the articles listed below:
The A.A. "Big Book" Has Helped Millions of Alcoholics
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