/ / 5 Telltale Signs a Recovering Alcoholic Has Started Drinking Again

5 Telltale Signs a Recovering Alcoholic Has Started Drinking Again

Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that often involves cycles of sobriety, relapse, and recovery. While no singular symptom indicates someone has resumed drinking, there are telltale patterns.

Being aware of these red flags is key to offering support early on, and preventing full-blown descent into unhealthy addiction patterns. As difficult as it is to admit, relapse is common on the road to recovery. The compassionate reaction is to acknowledge the realities of this battle, in hopes of again fostering restraint and accountability. The following are five indicators that a recovering alcoholic may have quietly started drinking again, and how friends and family can constructively voice concern.

Personality Changes

Alcohol addiction can profoundly impact an individual’s personality and behavior. Their personality tends to become centered around securing and consuming more alcohol. Addicted individuals often exhibit Jekyll and Hyde personality changes.

The neurological impact of alcohol damages impulse control and emotion regulation. Addicted people have disproportionate reactions to minor frustrations or disappointments, sometimes escalating into aggressive outbursts. At the same time, they show less joy, care, enthusiasm, or engagement in previously enjoyed activities, instead displaying a flat or depressed affect. Their volatility, unpredictability, and disengagement emotionally hurt close friends and family.

Recovery is possible with treatment and self-awareness, but alcohol addiction tends to thoroughly destabilize an individual’s personality until they have been abstinent for a significant time. If these changes are seen, the person might need alcohol addiction treatment again.

Lacking Follow-Through

Recovering alcoholics who suddenly become unreliable, unable, or unwilling to follow through on commitments may have relapsed. They may start missing support group meetings, and counseling sessions, or blow off plans with family members and friends. Undependability, secretiveness, and isolation are common warning signs. Making excuses or lying about whereabouts can betray something is amiss requiring intervention. Well-meaning loved ones must look out for these red flags.

Problems at Work

Recovering alcoholics trying to hide relapse often have noticeable difficulties fulfilling work duties. Coworkers may observe signs like tardiness, extended lunch breaks, sleeping on the job; and behavior often associated with intoxication. Job performance declines as they struggle with functioning while under the influence. Relationships suffer as they become defensive to deflect concern. Offering support and addressing the lapse early is the best way to prevent full relapse.

Financial Difficulties

Recovering alcoholics living on fixed incomes will have financial constraints. However, erratic spending, overdraft notices, and maxed-out credit cards can indicate funds being misused on liquor. Efforts to hide money issues like borrowing cash, selling valuables, or needing loans could mean supporting a drinking habit. Loved ones must gently investigate financial irregularities for the health and well-being of the struggling individual.

Physical Appearance

Noticeable changes in physical appearance like bloodshot eyes, puffiness of the face as well as poor hygiene or grooming may reflect that a recovering alcoholic has slipped into unhealthy patterns. Weight loss from lack of nutrition or fluctuating weight can result from substituting food for alcohol. Shakes, sweating, stomach bloating, and nausea may indicate withdrawal or a resurfaced habit. Well-meaning supporters should raise concern over deteriorating self-care as it likely signifies alcohol abuse.

The most important thing is offering patience, care, and compassion when facing indications of relapse. Recognizing the red flags early and creating open communication is key to preventing a full-fledged return to addiction for recovering alcoholics. With help, this vulnerable population can regain abstinence and control

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