July 5, 2018 Felicia Durling

How to Spot the Development of an Alcohol Addiction

Drinking alcohol is a normalized part of our popular culture. Alcohol consumption is even biblical. Throughout time, alcohol has become an integral part of how we experience community and society.  Alcohol addiction is easy to write off for many parents, families, and loved ones due to the fact that drinking so is normal. Unfortunately, binge drinking has become normalized as well. Call it ‘college’, call it ‘the party’, call it ‘being a bartender’, or anything else…it may seem effortless to discount signs of alcohol addiction. Other factors may be involved in ignoring signs of an alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Addiction

As parents, we may not be prepared to deal with the shame and guilt we might feel if our children have developed such an illness as alcoholism. As family members and friends, we may be afraid of watching our friends’ lives unravel, especially if their drinking isn’t ‘that bad’, right now. Whatever it is that keeps us from speaking up and inquiring about our loved one’s health and safety needs to be assessed within our hearts. When we can take an objective look at the drinking patterns and subsequent behaviors being demonstrated by our loved one, we might notice what we hadn’t before: evidence of a developing alcohol addiction.

Alcoholic Drinking Patterns

  • Your loved one’s drinking more than usual. They aren’t necessarily inebriated on a regular basis. Yet, you notice when the opportunity for an alcoholic beverage arises, they rarely decline.
  • After having one drink, they usually have another. They might not get ‘drunk’ but they rarely have only one beverage at each sitting.
  • You hear them rationalize, justify, or validate their drinking. They might say things like “it’s just one” or “I’m barely buzzed” or “I had a long day”.
  • If they are of age, they are regularly buying alcohol, “just to have in the house”.

Behavioral Patterns

  • Social activities are becoming more about alcohol than spiritual, personal, or external factors.
  • Friends are beginning to change from the social circle you’ve always known to new friends.
  • There is a blatant lack of interest for participating in family events that don’t involve alcohol.
  • Defensiveness, aggression, and irritability might show up when questioned about their drinking.


If you believe someone in your life is struggling with an alcohol addiction, contact The Center for Life Change today to learn how you can help.  We offer an intensive outpatient recovery program to help alcoholics find sobriety and peace in their lives, for the rest of their lives. This is life long recovery. (951) 775-4000.

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