Woman displaying the signs of secret drinking

Signs of Secret Drinking

An alcohol use disorder is a complex mental health condition that can impact every aspect of your life and those around you. At our alcohol rehab center, we offer guidance for those battling addiction. Contact Promises today at 844.875.5609 to learn more about alcohol addiction.  

If you suspect a loved one has an alcohol addiction or if you worry that you’re developing a problem, it’s important to know the signs of secret drinking.  

Understanding Secret Drinking: Why It Occurs 

If you think a loved one has an alcohol use disorder, secret drinking is one of the most common symptoms. Once someone becomes dependent on alcohol to function, they may not want to let loved ones know how much they need to drink to feel stable.  

To mask their need to drink, they may drink alone, hide the alcohol in soft drinks, coffee, or other substances, and may avoid going out in public while under the influence.  

It’s crucial to remember that although secret drinking is a decision your loved one makes, it’s driven by a substance use disorder.  

Alcohol, like other addictive substances, makes structural changes in the brain, affecting the areas that manage impulse control and decision-making. These changes cause a large part of the behaviors you may notice.  

Signs of Secret Drinking: What to Look for if You Suspect an Alcohol Addiction 

Secret drinking can appear with many symptoms. These include: 

  • Seeming tired all the time 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Lying about drinking 
  • Arguing 
  • Hiding alcohol in other drinks 
  • Drinking at all hours 
  • Unexplained money problems 
  • Having a high alcohol tolerance 
  • Lack of interest in favorite activities 
  • Changes in personal hygiene 

You may start noticing empty bottles in places they’re not normally placed. You may find them buried deep in trash cans, the back of closets, and other unusual locations.  

Opaque bottles can hide the content better, not allowing others to see exactly how much the person drank. With clear types of alcohol, like vodka, the person can use water to refill the bottle.  

Another sign of secret drinking is using other types of containers to store alcohol. Some people with alcohol use disorders hide alcohol in shampoo bottles, water bottles, and flasks.  

To mask the smell of alcohol, your loved one may chew gum, wear perfume, or chew mints. They may also use mouthwash, which contains alcohol, giving them an excuse if someone notices the smell of alcohol. 

Another common sign of secret drinking is avoiding close contact. Your loved one is likely worried about others smelling alcohol on their breath or on their skin, so they may avoid physical contact.  

How to Treat Secret Drinking and Alcohol Issues 

If you think your loved one has an alcohol use disorder or if you worry that you may have a problem with your alcohol consumption, the best thing you can do is turn to a treatment center for help.  

At Promises, we offer quality programs to help your loved one tackle the underlying cause of alcoholism and find the path back to sober life. With residential and outpatient programs available, as well as medical detox services, we can guide you or a loved one through every step of the process.  

We can help you find the right level of care and offer the therapies that can provide the best support.  

Turn to Promises for the Treatment of Alcohol Addiction 

An alcohol use disorder is a chronic condition, but it’s one that you or a loved one can break free from. But healing is possible with the right assistance, including medical detox services that can prevent dangerous withdrawal symptoms.  

At Promises, our team is ready to help. Start your journey to living without alcohol by calling Promises at 844.875.5609 today.  

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