Alcohol is one of America’s most abused substances, contributing to an estimated 95,000 deaths annually. Despite these catastrophic losses, it’s still viewed as an acceptable form of celebration and is often linked to relaxation, fun, and laid back adventures. The dark side of alcohol carries severe consequences and wreaks havoc for millions of households nationwide. When alcohol use becomes problematic, many users will resort to hiding drinking due to several different factors. Finding hidden alcohol from a loved one can be concerning. Learn the signs of alcohol abuse and what to do if secretive behavior is leading to drastic outcomes.
If you’re struggling with alcohol abuse, you’re not alone. Alcohol use disorder is a common disease afflicting many. Through AspenRidge Recovery, our alcohol abuse treatment programs work to address substance abuse and underlying causes of continued use. Contact us directly to learn more at 855-281-5588.
What is an Alcohol Use Disorder?
Alcohol use disorder can be hard to identify. Given that overindulgence is not a rarity, it can be hard to identify signs of misuse. Symptoms of an alcohol use disorder may go unnoticed for days, months, and even years. If hiding drinking is a recurring issue, it can be even harder to recognize when casual use turns to alcohol dependence.
Proper education regarding the signs and symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe alcohol use disorders is necessary when considering potential problematic drinking. Alcohol use disorders vary drastically from person to person. Addiction impacts everyone in different ways and can be catastrophic if left untreated.
Alcohol use disorder is a concerning disease that impacts millions of lives every year. It can include:
- Binge drinking
- Heavy drinking
- Alcohol dependency.
If someone is hiding drinking, it is often a telltale sign that problematic alcohol use is getting more severe. Treatment for alcohol use disorder is effective and can help many overcome the hidden challenges of AUD.
Stigma of Alcohol Use Disorder
Admitting it might be time to address problematic drinking can be a challenging and frightening experience. Not only is it hard to be able to identify when drinking has become a problem, it can be hard to accept the need for support when an alcohol use disorder is present. Social stigma surrounding alcohol use can be a significant barrier for many who are wanting to seek treatment. Inaccurate thinking and connotations regarding an alcohol use disorder often prevents individuals from seeking out the support they need. These inaccurate stigmas associated with alcohol use disorders can create a tremendous sense of shame and guilt which may often perpetuate the problematic drinking cycle.
Common inaccurate and stigmatized concepts include the following:
- “People with an alcohol use disorder lack the will power to quit drinking.”
- “If someone can’t quit drinking, then they must not truly want to quit.”
- “Problem drinking isn’t a disorder, it is a choice.”
- “People who struggle with alcohol are not good human beings.”
Shame and addiction often go hand-in-hand. If left untreated, shame can exacerbate alcohol use and vice versa.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse & Indicators of a Hidden Alcohol Use Disorder
Proper diagnosis is an important part in creating and implementing a safe and proper treatment plan. Despite the differences that are present between different alcohol use disorders, these diagnoses have similar warning signs that can help to prevent a disorder from going unnoticed and untreated. Unfortunately, many of the warning signs that occur may be hidden.
Becoming aware of the hidden indicators of an alcohol use disorder, alcohol abuse and dependency can have life-changing effects.
Common hidden indicators of an alcohol use disorder include:
- Irregular mood swings
- High alcohol tolerance
- Excessive use of vodka, whiskey, or other high alcohol content beverages
- Reduced recall and/or lack of memory of events
- Social isolation
Recent studies have found that 12.7% of American adults—one in eight—officially meet the criteria to be diagnosed with alcohol use disorder. Whether these disorders are mild or severe, recognizing the signs of alcoholism and seeking help as soon as possible is crucial.
Treatment Process for Alcohol Use Disorder
There are many forms of treatment for alcohol use disorders. Many of the treatment methods often depend on the severity level of alcohol use and dependency an individual may present with.
Severe alcohol use disorders may require inpatient rehabilitation and medication assisted treatment approaches, where mild to moderate cases may require support groups and outpatient therapy services.
Determining the correct approach is an important component of treatment. The general treatment process for alcohol use disorder follows a well-established curriculum to help obtain and maintain sobriety. At AspenRidge, the alcohol addiction treatment process consists of:
- Insurance verification to ensure all services are covered to the best of our ability.
- Initial assessment process with AspenRidge admissions staff.
- Determine recommended treatment methods with clinic support.
- Begin the recommended treatment plan.
Hiding drinking is often made worse if a family member does not take steps to address the signs of alcohol abuse. If you suspect your loved one is hiding their drinking, you can speak with an alcohol addiction specialist to help find answers sooner.
Recovery Tips and Treatment Programs for Alcohol Use Disorder
Understanding, identifying, and admitting you might be struggling with problematic drinking is not an easy step. Becoming aware of the negative impacts problem drinking may have in a person’s life is not exciting or fun. In fact, it can be a very hurtful realization for many.
Support from family and friends can make a major difference in addressing alcohol use disorder. Several evidence-based treatment methods are available to help you along your recovery path. There are many different treatment types ranging from community support groups to inpatient rehabilitation services.
Knowing what treatment methods are available is important when considering effective care. Common treatment methods and their definitions can be found below.
- Community support groups (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous).
- Outpatient psychotherapy
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Partial hospitalization programs
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Sober living communities
Knowing what types of treatments/resources are available is one step in the direction towards sobriety and rehabilitation, however it can be a stressful and anxiety causing experience when first getting started on the journey to recovery.
Stress and anxiety are often thought of as the same, however stress and anxiety have many differences. Stress is often situational and will resolve when the situation has subsided. Anxiety is often the experience of dread or fear with or without a situation present. Both can occur during the initial steps towards recovery. Learning how to deal with stress without alcohol is not a skillset developed overnight.
There are many tips and tricks that can help you manage both stress and anxiety, leading to an increase in mental wellbeing. Some highly recommended self-help tricks include:
- Engaging in deep breathing to help relax the central nervous system.
- Utilize the Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique to release tension in muscles.
- Begin a Journal or try a timed, open writing exercise for 5 minutes.
- Participate in light aerobic exercise such as a walk, hike, or bike ride.
- Develop and maintain a well-established routine each day to reduce stress and anxiety.
Where Can I Go for Help?
If you feel there is an alcohol use disorder present and it is time to seek out further treatment options, there are a variety of resources and treatment methods available at AspenRidge Recovery Centers across the state of Colorado. AspenRidge offers access to approved clinicians to support you along your journey toward alcohol recovery.
To learn more about AspenRidge and the treatment process please contact 855-281-5588 to receive help now!