Tammy Broccas October 19, 2018
closet drinker

Alcoholism wears more masks than almost any other addiction. It’s a widely accepted way to celebrate, cope and socialize with people from all walks of life – and this is part of what makes it so dangerous.

Louisiana has been dealing with the widespread addiction that came with the opioid epidemic, but the state has been struggling with alcoholism for much longer. This legal addiction makes it very hard for people struggling with a dependence on alcohol to stop using and to stay sober.

Even finding an alcohol rehab may not be enough to help a person who isn’t aware of just how bad their problem is. Drinking doesn’t always look like we think it should. Not every person who abuses alcohol is passed out in the street in a pool of their own vomit. There are plenty of alcoholics who manage to function and carry on as usual.

Closet drinkers often know that their habit will be frowned on, and instead of trying to justify it, they hide it. This allows them to continue drinking without tipping their hand and letting friends and family know that they aren’t in control.

The Evolution from Social Drinker to Alcoholic

The foundation for many alcoholics is the illusion of control. They constantly tell themselves that they can stop any time that they want. Maybe they know that they have a problem, and they’re too embarrassed to get help. At the center of every closet alcoholic’s motivation is a need to protect their relationship with alcohol.

They know that if they get caught drinking or completely intoxicated, they could lose their ability to continue using alcohol. They might be asked to make hard decisions, and this is not something that they’re ready to do. Unfortunately, help someone if they aren’t willing to take it.

Many people start their relationship with alcohol in their teenage years – the age of 21 isn’t some magical number that prevents you from drinking before you get to it.

Plenty of people have their first experience with alcohol in their own homes. There are so many parents that have the “I want them drinking here because it’s safer” attitude that allows teenagers to take a more relaxed view of alcohol.

For someone who’s predisposed to addiction, this can be disastrous. A person’s brain isn’t done developing in their teenage years, and even occasional drinking can have an impact on future cognitive…
 

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