Because of the guilt and shame that many addicts feel about their compulsive dependencies to drugs and/or alcohol, many will go to great lengths to conceal their activities in, frankly, strange and bizarre ways. Inside of toilet tanks and under the lids are a common hiding place. A person can indulge in privacy and return to the office, the TV sofa, homework or childcare with few making any connection to their alcohol consumption. The tank water keeps the liquid cool, it is removed, consumed and replaced with practiced expertise. This is also a common drop spot for drug transactions, so as crazy as it may sound, if you suspect drug or alcohol abuse in your home but can not easily snoop out the materials, check in and under the most unlikely places you can think of and if you say to yourself there is no way it would be in there…that’s the place to search.
As for the behavior of a person abusing alcohol, there are distinct patterns that are impressively consistent such as mood swings and a sudden change in attitude, poor attendance at school or work, loss of interest in things the person normally enjoyed, grades or work performance significantly decline without obvious cause, having friends and associates that the person will not introduce you to, secrecy, depression, confusion, alcohol missing or disappearing including cooking sherry and vanilla and withdrawal from family and well known friends not involved in a new circle of associates.
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To help determine if someone may have an alcohol abuse problem or suffreing from alcoholism, many psychologists and drug counselors will use questions such as the following listed below in their initial interview and assessment. How many may apply to you or someone you know?
Do you attend school or your workplace intoxicated?
Do you crave a drink at the same time every day?
Do you start your day with a drink?
Do you make excuses for having another drink?
Does drinking interfere with your home life?
Do you forget problems?
Do you feel guilty after drinking?
Do you drink because you are shy?
Do friends, employers or family criticize your drinking?
Have you suffered memory blackouts?
Do you drink alone?
Do you drink to escape loneliness?
Have you driven a car while drunk?
Does drinking interfere with your sleep?
Have you come into conflict with the law because of drinking?
Has drinking affected your reputation?
Do you want a drink the morning after a drinking bout?
Do you undergo dramatic personality changes after drinking?
Are you less efficient or less ambitious because of increased drinking patterns?
One yes is a warning flag and three or more is a definite indicator that help and intervention should be sought without delay.
If you wish to go a step further in your identifying process, there are diagnostic drug testing materials available such as portable breathalyzers, blood alcohol tests, the well known urine test and controversial hair analysis diagnostics.
Lastly, do not ignore what you may perceive as a potential alcohol abuse situation. The best way to identify the problem is to address it.
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