« Return to Blogs

How to Tell If Your Friend Is Secretly an Alcoholic

Alcoholics are masters of deception. A great deal of alcoholics have learned to hide their drinking so well that many people around them aren’t even aware they are addicted to alcohol. But this deceptive behavior is not healthy, and if you suspect you might have a friend that is an alcoholic, here are some red flags you should be aware of.

Public Bottle

Alcoholics hide their drinking
Image Courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When someone is an alcoholic, they’re not trying to hide the fact that they drink altogether. They’re trying to hide the fact they drink too much. One tactic that some alcoholics use to fool their friends and family is a public decoy bottle.

By having a regular sized bottle in plain sight, people can “see” how much that person is drinking. It’s very easy for an alcoholic to reference the public bottle as a gauge for the amount he or she is drinking. They can control the level of the bottle, making sure it only appears like they’re drinking one glass a day. The reality is, many clever alcoholics stow away a second, usually larger bottle. So if your friend or family member uses a public bottle to show you how much he or she is drinking, take note.

They Spend a Lot of Time in One Room

Alcoholics tend to have stashes of alcohol in secret locations. The private bottle disguises how much the alcoholic is really drinking. When an alcoholic has a private stash of alcoholic, they typically keep it in one room, so if the person spends a prolonged period of time in one room, be on alert.

We’ve heard stories of mothers staying in the kitchen all day because their private stash was in the cupboard, or a father who spends far too much time in the garage.  If you’re not aware, this might seem like normal behavior. But it’s not normal to spend hours at a time in one particular room. So if a loved one is spending an inordinate amount of time in one room, it may be worth it to check and see what’s going on.

They Constantly Mask Their Breath

Alcoholics will try to mask the alcohol on their breath
Image Courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This third warning sign should be taken cautiously. This can’t be your only reason why you think someone is an alcoholic. But it can help you detect if a friend is abusing alcohol.

Because an alcoholic is constantly drinking, at times when it’s not acceptable or appropriate, they have to mask the alcohol on their breath. So they do whatever is necessary to remove the smell of alcohol from their breath. This can entail chewing gum, breath mints, or eating pungent smelling food. Anything that seems natural but can cover the smell of alcohol.

Many people chew gum regularly or snack constantly during the day. That’s why this can’t be your only reason to suspect alcoholism. But if you start to see your loved one trying to continually cover the smell of their breath in combination with one of our other tips, then you should take notice.

Alcoholism is a dirty secret. Alcoholics start to look forward to drinking and plan for it. They plan around when they’ll see other people, so they can drink when no one is around and won’t appear to drink excessively. But if you start to notice one of these three warning signs, you should consider talking to your friend or family member about getting help. Feel free to call Prominence Treatment Center if you need more information regarding alcohol addiction or the next steps to getting help.

Similar articles:

Call Us Today
Talk to one our trained advisors to learn more about treatment options.
Contact Us
Find Us Online