Signs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse You May See Over the Holidays 12/13

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Signs of alcohol and drug abuse over the holidays are similar to what you may observe during the rest of the year. The difference is that the holidays can make it difficult to identify the symptoms during a time when overindulging is accepted, if not encouraged. There may be someone you know and love who is in recovery from alcoholism, or even someone who you suspect may be struggling with untreated alcoholism. There are some signs of alcohol and drug abuse to watch for this holiday season.

Signs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Over the Holiday Season

“It’s just one drink.”

For someone in recovery, one drink is one drink too many. When a person in recovery is holding an alcoholic drink at a holiday party, this is a warning sign. Alcohol abuse is a slippery slope, and one drink is considered a relapse. Alternatively, someone who claims to have drunk much less than they actually have could also be showing the signs of alcohol abuse.

Change in behavior

The holidays are often a time when you see people who you may not see frequently. If you notice a marked change in behavior, such as withdrawal, angry outbursts, secretive behavior or moodiness, this could be one of the signs of alcohol and drug abuse. In some cases it could simply be a passing phase, but it might be a symptom of a greater problem with substance abuse.

Rekindled friendships

Being home for the holidays can mean associating with people from your past. In some cases, this could be people that an alcoholic used to use with, or even people who are now known for their substance abuse. If your loved one is suddenly rekindling dangerous friendships, it could indicate substance abuse.

Missing pills or vanishing alcohol

If you keep alcohol in the house, is it disappearing more quickly than normal without explanation? Have you noticed prescription medication going missing? These could be signs of alcohol and drug abuse in the house.

Drinking to blackout

Consistently drinking to the point of blacking out is not a simple case of overindulgence; it is a symptom of a larger issue. If your loved one drinks heavily and forgets events, they could be abusing alcohol.

Risky actions

Substance abuse can cause a person to engage in risky behaviors that they would otherwise not do. This could be driving while high, having unprotected sex, or provoking others into a fight.

Not all of these signs of alcohol and drug abuse will be evident in someone with an addiction, but some of them could be. During the holidays it can become harder to hide addictive behaviors, as you often find yourself in social situations with friends, family, and co-workers. If someone you know is showing the signs of alcohol and drug abuse, remember that treatment works.

Personalized treatment for addiction can make a big difference in the life of an addict, and the earlier it begins, the better the chances for recovery. There is no wrong time to start treatment, and the right time is as soon as possible. Starting treatment now could mean a happy, healthy, sober holiday season in the years to come.