Picture a person with a drinking issue or problem. Are they a runner? Love to workout? Care about their health? Chances are the person that you pictured did not fit any of these qualities. That is why it is so hard to suspect when your active adult child may have a drinking issue as they do not fit the usual stereotype. It is actually pretty common for active people to have drinking issues for a few reasons.
Why Can Active People Have Drinking Issues?
1. It is a social activity: Since active people may run with their friends, attend workout classes with large groups of people, or play sports as a team, working out could be classified as a social activity. Drinking is also usually done with other people, so we can see a correlation between exercise and drinking: they can both be considered social activities.
2. Active people do not put on the alcohol weight: Since physically active people are obviously more physically fit, you can’t see if they have put on weight as a result of their drinking issue (like you could on inactive people). Active people may be able to hide their drinking issue more than inactive people since you can’t see the physical toll its taken on them. Their unhealthy qualities are masked by their athletic appearance, and this can lead to health problems down the road.
3. Active people feel like they can drink more: Since active people burn more calories, they know that they can drink more than the average person without it affecting them. Active people may believe that their exercise “cancels out” their drinking, and this can lead to an even more severe drinking issue such as binge drinking.
How Can You Detect a Drinking Issue in an Active Person?
It is more difficult to detect a drinking issue in an active person than an inactive person, but it can be done with serious thought and attention. You must pay careful and mindful attention to the warning signs of substance abuse, specifically the signs of alcohol abuse. Since you know your loved one’s typical personality very well, it is important to keep on the lookout for their unusual behaviors. The warning signs of alcohol abuse among adults may include:
- Mood Swings: If mood swings are not a usual part of your loved one’s personality and you suspect they have a drinking problem, this may be a sign of alcohol abuse. Since alcohol abuse takes a toll on a person’s mental health, they may be in a “different state of mind” from what you usually notice they are in.
- Neglecting Personal Obligations: If your loved one has been skipping work, forgetting to pick up their kids from school, or neglecting any other personal obligations, they could be suffering from alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse begins to take over the addict’s life, including interfering with their responsibilities.
- Drinking in Response to a Life Event: Pay attention to what has been going on in your loved one’s life that could cause them to form a drinking problem. Did they just lose their job? Have they just become divorced? Have they lost a loved one? These negative life events may cause a person use alcohol to cope with their problems.
- Physical Signs: Bloodshot eyes, gaining or losing extreme amounts of weight, having changes in eating and sleeping patterns, lack of motivation, and lack of personal grooming could all be physical signs of alcohol abuse. Any physical signs that are out of the person’s ordinary self.
- Aggressive Behavior: If your loved one is acting in aggressive ways and it is unusual from their typical behavior, they may have a drinking problem. Try to detect changes in your loved one’s behavior or demeanor.
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, call SAFE Prevention to learn about their possible treatment options. Substance abuse, alcohol abuse or alcoholism does not have to control your life. SAFE Prevention can help find the resources and tools you need for effective addiction prevention and treatment. Call SAFE Prevention today at 1-877-503-2608 for more information! Sobriety and freedom from substance abuse are just one phone call away.