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Is My Husband an Alcoholic? Signs of Addiction & How to Get Help

Being from the Heartland, we know the importance of family and community. That’s why we know how difficult it is to see someone you love struggling with alcohol. If you’re worried that your husband might be an alcoholic, you’re not alone. Kansas has the third highest rate in the country of adults with alcohol use disorder. Wives and spouses all over the state face the same concerns with their husbands drinking. That’s why we put together this blog; to help you recognize the signs and know what to do next. 


Signs Your Husband Might Be an Alcoholic


  • Frequent Drinking: While a heavy drinker does not equal an alcoholic, it is something to be mindful of. Does your husband drink more often than not? Is it a daily part of his routine? If this is coupled with some of the other signs, it may be a red flag. 

  • Increased Tolerance: If you’ve noticed your husband’s 1-2 drinks a night is turning into 3-4, 5-6, etc, then they may be addicted to alcohol. Increased tolerance is when you need a greater amount of a substance to achieve the desired effect. This is a sign of alcohol dependence. 

  • Loss of Control: The inability to control one's drinking is a big sign of alcoholism. How many times has your husband said he’s only going to have one or two drinks but ended up finishing the whole bottle?  

  • Neglecting Responsibilities: As alcohol addiction grows, it takes priority over everything else. Missing work, neglecting household chores, or ignoring family time due to drinking is a major warning sign.

  • Withdrawal Symptoms: When the body is physically dependent on alcohol, it experiences withdrawal symptoms. Shaking hands, sweating, nauseousness, anxiety, and even seizures and hallucinations are all signs of alcoholism.  

  • Changes in Behavior: Mood swings, irritability, and aggression when questioned about drinking habits are concerning and should be taken seriously. 

  • Secretive Drinking: Hiding bottles, drinking alone, or lying about how much they’ve had to drink is a major red flag. 


The Dangers of Trying to Treat Alcoholism on Your Own


Even though the AMA declared alcoholism a medical disease back in the 50’s, the stigma of an alcoholic in the family can still make you want to handle everything on your own. Unfortunately this is a dangerous and complex disease that requires medical professionals. Here’s why: 

  1. Withdrawal Risks: Suddenly stopping alcohol can lead to severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, including seizures and delirium tremens (DTs) that require a medical detox program

  2. Co-Occurring Disorders: There may be underlying mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, that need to be addressed simultaneously.

  3. Lack of Expertise: Professional treatment facilities have the experience and knowledge to create personalized treatment plans that address the unique needs of each individual. 

  4. Underlying Medical Conditions: The abrupt cessation of alcohol can exacerbate underlying medical conditions and require medical intervention. 

  5. Support Systems: Facilities provide structured environments with medical supervision, counseling, and support groups, all crucial for recovery.

Getting Professional Help


If you’ve read this far and believe your husband is struggling with alcoholism, seeking professional help is the best step you can take. Here’s how to start:

  1. Open a Conversation: Approach the topic with care and concern. Let your husband know you’re worried about his health and well-being. This isn’t a time for judgment but for compassion and empathy. 

  2. Research Treatment Options: Alongside your husband, look for reputable alcohol treatment facilities in Kansas. Consider factors like the types of therapies offered, the credentials of the staff, and the facility’s success rates. Talk with your husband about his needs and concerns. 

  3. Get Support for Yourself: Self-care is important during this time. Joining a support group for families of alcoholics, such as Al-Anon, can provide you with guidance and emotional support.

  4. Consult with Professionals: Talk to a counselor or an addiction specialist. They can offer advice on how to encourage your husband to seek help and provide resources for intervention.

  5. Be Patient & Persistent: Overcoming alcoholism is an ongoing process. Recovery is a journey, not a destination. There may be slip-ups and setbacks. With time, patience, and on-going support, success will come.


We’re Here to Help


At Holland Pathways, we understand the struggles that come with loving someone who battles alcoholism. Our dedicated team is here to support both your husband and your family through every step of the recovery process. 

If you’re ready to take the first step, give us a call. Let’s work together to bring health and happiness back into your home.