What Red Flags Should I Watch for That Indicate Addiction to Alcohol?

Drinking hurts loved ones but that is not the main focus when addiction is at the forefront. Acknowledging it too soon means it may not be salvageable. The warning signs are there to look out for but it takes time to sometimes really grasp what is going on.

Warning Signs

When a person is not wanting to heed a warning, it can be difficult to know what to do. It is rare someone in recovery looks back at drinking time and says there were no red flags indicating a problem ahead. Acknowledging red flags means finally admitting a problem exists, which may be scary and confusing. It may seem easier to deny a problem exists. Paying attention to warning signs is better than ignoring them so here’s what to watch out for:

  • Blacking out while drinking. In spite of what a person tells themselves, blacking out while drinking is not normal behavior. It means for periods of time under the influence, there is no memory of what happened. These periods of amnesia are anterograde, meaning alcohol impairs the ability to form new memories. Blacking out frequently indicates heavy drinking that is past the point the body can actually handle it and means there is no moderation to the behavior.
  • Not sticking to a limited number of drinks. Setting limits is often one of the first steps people take when working to moderate drinking, either because someone implied a problem exists or because they’ve realized it on their own and want to convince themselves they can cut back if they want. People likely do not have to set limits for themselves when they drink in moderation but for people who struggle, it may be time to step back and consider why the behavior does not seem to be under control.
  • Conflict over drinking habits with loved ones. The biggest red flag is that people will get into conflict situations with others who are upset over their drinking habits. If someone confronts the drinking behavior, it may be time to do some thinking. It is likely harder for the people to bring up the issue. If they make the fefort it is likely they gave some thought to it and have concerns they want to address. Rather than be confrontational, it is best to stop and consider whether the points are valid and what it might mean. Drinking often hurts people we care about. These relationships are possibly salvageable but with time, it is less likely these things can be repaired.
  • Cannot enjoy events without alcohol. When a person drinks, they often look for those to be accessible at a party. If they drink excessively and cannot find what they want, they will try to bring it themselves, hide it in their clothes or in their vehicle. They often drink anywhere and everywhere they can. If alcohol is needed to have fun, it is because that alcohol eases anxiety and it is hard to think about anything else.

Everyone hits a bottom place differently, at different times, for many different reasons. The truth is that many red flags are the same. If they are ignored, brushed aside, or excuses are made, they pop up as a result of drinking. It is time to do some self-examination when it comes to relationships with alcohol.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.