You have probably arrived at this page because you are starting to wonder if your husband might be an alcoholic. You have noticed changes in him and his drinking habits are starting to cause you concern.
So is your husband an alcoholic? What are the signs and symptoms you should be looking for?
How much he drinks – there are plenty of people who might have the odd glass of wine with their meal every night but this doesn’t necessarily make them an alcoholic. However if you find your husband is drinking more than two drinks in one sitting every night and is not able to limit himself, that might be a sign that his drinking is getting out of control.
Consuming more to get intoxicated – as people become more dependent on alcohol their tolerance to it becomes greater, meaning that they need to drink more for it have an intoxicating effect. Do you find that the pack of 12 beers your husband always keeps in the fridge only last a few days when they used to last a week or perhaps longer?
Physical symptoms – someone who is becoming alcohol dependent could start to experience withdrawal symptoms in just a few hours if they can’t get a drink. His hands may start to tremble or he may start to sweat. These symptoms subside soon after he has had a drink.
Emotional and Behavioural symptoms – when he is unable to get a drink he may get irritable and restless. He may also get angry and defensive if you question his drinking habits and could be confrontational when he has been drinking. He will start to seek out the company of other drinkers more than his usual friends.
Time planning drinking activities – you may notice that your husband spends more time planning social events where alcohol will form a significant part of the event and avoid other activities where there will not be any alcohol available.
A drinking routine – many alcoholics form a drinking routine. You may find for example that he comes home from work every evening and has three drinks before dinner.
Failed attempts to reduce alcohol intake – has your husband promised to reduce his alcohol intake, started to attempt it and then failed, repeatedly? Do you feel he is no longer in control of how much he drinks?
Drinking at inappropriate times – you may have noticed that he smells of alcohol in the mornings. He could be adding vodka to his morning coffee or orange juice. He may be drinking increasingly by himself.
Neglecting other responsibilities – alcoholics will often miss or neglect other responsibilities because they are either hung over or intoxicated. You may find that your husband has been missing work or not picking up the children when he said he would because drinking is getting in the way.
Using drinking as an escape – your husband may increasingly turn to drink to escape from other problems. Does he reach for a drink every time you have argument or he has had a particularly stressful day? Alcoholics claim they need a drink to help them relax and they will use alcohol as an escape, rather than dealing with the issues they face.
Periods of memory loss or “blackout” – does he have increasing occurrences of memory loss or blackout from excess drinking?
Drinking in situations when it is illegal or dangerous – drink driving or in charge of children. This is when the alcohol becomes more important to them than their knowledge that what they are doing is illegal and could put other people’s lives in danger.