Experts in Addiction Treatments

Are you or a loved one an alcoholic or an addict? How to spot the signs

There are certain characteristics that can be assumed for someone that is addicted or severely dependent. Ian Young, addictions consultant from Sober Services discusses this in more detail

When is it too much alcohol?There are three different aspects of an addictive behaviour:

1) Being unable to control their consumption anymore, therefore hiding how much they are tolerating

2) A more subtle side of addiction is the inability to stop oneself from reigniting their addiction. The user loses the power of choice.

3) They display personality shifts which can easily be compared to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Their attitude becomes selfish and self-centred.

Addictions to anything can be spotted by new personality traits such as greed, selfishness, and being self-centred. 

Do I actually have a problem? 

If you are unsure if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, and whether or not you need help, ask yourself the following questions:

1- Have you ever made the decision to quit drinking or using for a week, but only lasted for a couple of days? Or tried to cut down only to find you couldn’t?

2-Have any of your friends and family suggested that you might have a problem? Do you often wish people would mind their own business about your drinking or using and stop telling you what to do? Is this causing conflict within your family, friends and own conscience?

3-Have you ever drank or used more than you intended to? Have you ever regretted that first drink, line or pill?

4-Have you begun drinking or using alone? Have you begun to realise that you need a drink or drug to get started, or just to stop shaking in the morning?

5-Do you envy people who can drink or use without getting into trouble? Are you therefore drinking or using in your bathroom, car, workplace or other public places?

6-Have you had any health problems connected with your drinking or using and still carried on doing it? Are you happy with your current sex life?

7-Have you ever stolen money to finance your next binge?

8-Do you ever try to ensure you get an extra drink / hit than those around you because it wasn’t enough?

9-Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking / using any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk / high when you didn’t intend to?

10- Have you missed days off work because of your drinking or using? Or are you afraid that if you stop drinking and using that your quality of work will suffer – you will lose energy, motivation, confidence etc?

Did you answer YES to any of these questions?
If you have answered ‘Yes’ to any of the above questions it is likely that you have a drink or drug problem. You may well be an alcoholic and / or addict. 

Why do we say this?
Because our own experience has shown us our patterns of behaviour to be alike. All staff at Sober Services are (fully recovered) Alcoholics and Addicts too.  

Sober Services are here to help you find the most appropriate method towards recovery available to fit your circumstances and lifestyle.  But again, only you can decide whether you think the time is right for you.



Sometimes the problem is obvious. However, often it is hidden or denied out of 
shame, guilt and remorse.

Ask yourself the following:
• Have you noticed a marked change in behaviour (including coming home late, missing appointments, changing habits and routines)?
• Does he/she have severe mood swings that are out of the ordinary?
• Have you noticed a change in bodily appearance (including weight, poor skin, sweating, hand shakes, etc)?

• Has there been a change in financial circumstances or have you noticed items have gone missing, possibly sold? Is he/she committing crime?
• Does he/she isolate and/or seem depressed?
• Is he/she obviously intoxicated but denies it?

If you have answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions it is likely that your loved one has a drink or drug problem.

You may be anxious to confront your loved one or demand that they get help however people who are addicted to substances or behaviours tend to deny their problems, allowing them to build up until breaking point.

Your loved one is more likely to respond well to an offer of help from our compassionate and understanding Sober Intervention team, taking a non-judgemental stance and demonstrating love and care.  

We understand these issues as we’ve been through them.  We can help you.  Do contact us.

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