Does My Friend Have A Drinking Problem?

How Do I Know if My Friend Has a Drinking Problem?


It can sometimes be hard to tell if someone has a drinking problem. Here in Wisconsin alcohol is everywhere. Drinking is a part of our culture. People like to drink when they socialize and get together. Small amounts for alcohol, occasionally, will not present a problem for most people. But there are signs that your friend or loved one’s drinking may be becoming a problem.


Some of things you can notice that may point towards a problem are:


Does your friend miss work, school, or important events due to the effects of drinking? Do they not want to go places where alcohol is not served? Do they only like going places where they can drink? Are they drinking in places that are not appropriate, like school, work, or when driving? Have they lost their job due to drinking on the job or not being able to go because they are recovering from drinking?


Another sign there might be a problem is that bad things tend to happen when they drink. They might get an OWI, or get into fights, or become intoxicated and need help every time they drink. Do they not remember what happened the next day? Is their health getting worse?


They also might have a hard time with staying sober, or say they are only going to have a couple but end up drinking all night. They may try and hide their use from you. They may “need” a drink to cope with stress, sadness, or anxiety. Does your friend get defensive when you bring up their drinking? Are they accusing you of being “no fun” when you don’t want to go drinking with them? Do they seem like they need more alcohol, just to get the same effect? Do they try and cut down on their drinking, only to fail to control it?


Social drinking can turn into heavy drinking and into daily drinking easily. “Partying” with friends can slip into addiction. Many people who have developed a drinking problem don’t know that they have one, addiction is a powerful disease.


If you think one of your friends, or family members has a drinking problem, know that you aren’t alone. And no one who hasn’t been through this knows what to do. For more information on what you can do (and what you can’t do) read about our Family Support and Education Program HERE At Arbor Place we understand the this is a family disease that affects the entire family.


And that includes the family that are your friends, too. We’ll help you learn what you can do when your friend is drinking too much and what to do when alcohol is a problem.