You Deserve Freedom

Spotting the Signs of Alcohol Misuse

Signs of addiction, Signs of an Alcohol Issue, Signs of Alcohol Misuse

Signs help us make good decisions. Traffic signs—stop, yield, lane ends, one way, and more—help keep everyone on the road safe. Signs pointing to the restrooms or identifying the exits or revealing whether a business is open or closed help us travel through public spaces. And in extremely busy spots—the airport, a stadium, a performing arts center—signs can quickly provide information that you need so that you can be where you need to be when you need to be there.

All of the signs we have mentioned so far have a physical presence in the world. The stop sign is at the corner, the restroom sign is on the restaurant wall, and the sign pointing toward your gate is in the airport terminal. But some important signs are less tangible—but no less important.

For example, plenty of signs might reveal that your relationship with alcohol has become problematic. Spotting those signs can help you make good decisions that will lead you back to sobriety.

Let’s take a look at several of the signs that you might be developing a substance use disorder centered on alcohol.

Sign One: Increased Tolerance for Alcohol

Maybe you enjoy a drink when you get home from work or over dinner with friends because it helps you relax. Over time, however, you might find yourself having a couple of drinks to reach that state of relaxation. And then you might find yourself having a couple more than that to get the feeling you are looking for. That is a clear sign that you are developing a tolerance for alcohol—meaning you have to drink more to feel the way you want to feel. And that is an indication that a substance use disorder may  be in play.

Sign Two: Keeping Secrets about Drinking

It is one thing to have a drink or two with family or friends. It is quite another to drink alone or at times that are not appropriate. For example, if you are sneaking a drink at work—or drinking before you even head into your job—it is a sign that a problem has developed. Similarly, if you are lying about how much (or when) you are drinking, it is a sign that something needs to change. Any aspect of your behavior around alcohol that you feel compelled to keep secret is a warning sign you should heed.

Sign Three: Taking Risks after Drinking

Because alcohol lowers your inhibitions and impairs your judgment, problematic drinking can lead to some problematic behaviors. These might include driving under the influence, getting into physical altercations, engaging in risky sexual activities, mixing alcohol with other substances, and more. Each and every one of those behaviors can have disastrous consequences for you—and for others who you may inadvertently harm. If you find yourself behaving in ways you wouldn’t if you hadn’t been drinking, it is a sign that alcohol is an issue in your life that you need to address.

Sign Four: A Slip in Self-Care

Think about how you take care of yourself and your personal spaces like your home, car, or office. While there is certainly a range of approaches to such things—the amount of clutter a person tolerates at home, for example, varies widely—you probably have a good idea of your own habits and preferences. If you have taken to drinking more or more frequently and you notice a significant change in your habits (for example, you go from always doing the dishes right away to letting them pile up in the sink for days on end), it could be a sign that your drinking is starting to undermine your self-care. It is important to note here that this slip in self-care could also be an indication of a mental health disorder—or a combination of a substance use disorder and mental health issue.

All Signs Point to Bel Aire Recovery Center

Once you have spotted the signs that suggest you may have developed a problem related to alcohol, you might well wonder what to do next. Let us point the way by suggesting you seek out treatment for a substance use disorder at Bel Aire Behavioral Health, located near Wichita, Kansas.

At Bel Aire, we provided personalized care for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. We start with medically supervised detoxification in a safe environment that is free from temptations. Detox is followed by a rehabilitation program that includes individual and group therapy designed to give you the tools and confidence you need to maintain your sobriety. We also provide a continuum of care—meaning you will have ongoing support as your recovery journey is getting underway. If you are struggling with alcohol, it is a clear sign that you should get help—and Bel Aire Recovery Center is ready and able to provide it.

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