How to Tell if Someone is Hiding an Alcohol Problem

If you suspect that someone is hiding a drinking problem, chances are you are right. There are a number of reasons someone might hide their alcohol use, which will be explored in this article.

How do you tell if someone is hiding their drinking? There are a few signs to look for including:

  • First, pay attention to the person’s behavior. If you notice changes in their mood, greater irritability, or forgetfulness, those are signs of excessive alcohol use.
  • If the person’s eyes appear glassy, red or bloodshot, that can be an indication of alcohol usage as well.
  • Also, if you detect a strong odor of alcohol, this is a tell-tale sign that the person has been drinking.
  • If you notice that the person tends to disappear for extended periods of time, this can be a sign something is not right.
  • There may be changes in their physical appearance as well, such as weight gain, yellowing of the eyes or changes in skin tone.

If you have any concerns, it’s best to speak to the person and express your concerns in a compassionate and non-judgmental way.

Definition of an Alcohol Problem

An alcohol problem is a clinical term used to describe an individual’s problematic relationship with alcohol and the associated physical, psychological and social consequences.

It is defined as a pattern of alcohol use that is causing significant distress or harm to an individual’s physical, mental, and/or social functioning.

This may include physical health complications, work or school difficulties, legal issues, relationship problems or financial difficulties due to alcohol use.

Alcohol problems can range from mild to severe and can be chronic or episodic. The severity of an individual’s alcohol problem is determined by the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption, their health and social consequences, and the individual’s ability to control their drinking.

If you think you or someone you know may be experiencing an alcohol problem, it is important to seek professional help. Treatment includes detox, counseling, support groups, medication and other therapies that can help an individual to reduce their drinking and to cope with the consequences of their alcohol use.

Reasons why someone might be hiding their alcohol addiction

There are a number of reasons why someone may be hiding an alcohol problem. Some of the most common are:

  • fear of judgment
  • fear of stigma
  • embarrassment
  • guilt
  • shame
  • the desire to protect their reputation
  • the belief that they can control the problem on their own

It’s important to remember that alcohol addiction is a serious mental health condition and should be treated as such. People hiding an alcohol problem need to know that they are not alone and that help is available.

Identifying Signs Someone is Hiding an Alcohol Problem

Identifying signs of an alcohol problem can be difficult but there are some common signs:

  1. Changes in behavior such mood swings, irritability, isolation
  2. Physical changes like red eyes, weight loss, sleep problems
  3. Financial issues due to spending too much money on alcohol
  4. Social consequences like avoiding social gatherings or loss of interest in activities
  5. Legal issues as a result of DUIs or other legal troubles
  6. Job performance issues from missing work or being late due to being hungover
  7. Smells of alcohol on breath or clothing
  8. Risky behaviors like unprotected sex and falls from being drunk
  9. Difficulty controlling their drinking as they are consuming more than they intended or they are not able to stop once they start

How to Tell if Someone is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

A high-functioning alcoholic is someone who is able to maintain their job, social life and family life while drinking excessively.

These individuals often appear to be in control of their lives, but in reality, their alcohol use is taking a toll on their health, relationships and overall well-being.

High-functioning alcoholics:

  1. often deny their drinking problem and may continue to drink heavily for years without seeking help
  2. typically exhibit no visible signs of addiction, such as physical withdrawal symptoms or blackouts, and are often able to hide their drinking from family and friends

It’s important to recognize that high-functioning alcoholics are still at risk of developing serious health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, cancer and mental health issues. Alcoholism is a progressive illness, meaning that if left untreated, it can worsen over time.

If you think you or someone you know may be a high-functioning alcoholic, it’s important to seek help. Treatment options include therapy, support groups and medication.

Additionally, lifestyle changes such as avoiding high-risk situations, avoiding triggers, and setting limits on drinking can help to manage alcohol use disorder.

Hidden Alcoholism in the US

The rate of hidden alcoholism in the US is alarmingly high. This form of alcoholism is also known as “functioning alcoholism” and it affects many people, even those who are successful in their professional and personal lives.

These people are able to maintain their jobs and relationships, but they struggle with an addiction to alcohol that is kept hidden from their family and friends.

  • Statistics show that approximately one in eight adults in the US suffer from alcoholism and about 10 million of those are considered to be hidden alcoholics.
  • The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) estimates that nearly 90% of those with an alcohol use disorder go undiagnosed and untreated.
  • Alcoholism can be difficult to identify in a functioning alcoholic because they are typically able to maintain a job and a social life. They may also be able to hide the amount of alcohol they consume.
  • Some of the warning signs include drinking alone, drinking at inappropriate times and in excessive amounts and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking.

What to do if you suspect someone you know is a secret drinker

If you suspect that someone you know is hiding an alcohol addiction, it is important that you talk to them about your concerns. Speak to them in a non-judgmental way and emphasize that you are there to help them.

Provide them with resources, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or a local rehab center and be prepared to offer your emotional support if they decide to seek help.

Encouraging them to seek professional help from a qualified health care provider is a step toward them overcoming their addiction.

Get Help for Alcohol Abuse Problems

Are you or someone you love hiding alcohol use? If so please reach out to Luxe Recovery to learn about how our world-class treatment program can help get you on the road to recovery. Our friendly admissions staff are available to listen to your concerns and discuss options.

You can fill out this form or call us directly

    Accreditations & Memberships

    Luxe Recovery BBB Business Review

    License #191121AP Expires: 11/30/2025

    Luxe Recovery

    One of the Best Rehabs in California for Drug, Alcohol, and Mental Health Treatment.

    Scroll to Top