5 Signs an Alcoholic Relative Has Fallen Off the Wagon

Dealing with a relative struggling with alcoholism is difficult and often heartbreaking. You want to be supportive while also setting healthy boundaries. Unfortunately, even relatives dedicated to their recovery may relapse. It’s important to recognize the signs so you can provide help before the relapse worsens. Here are 5 signs indicating an alcoholic relative may have fallen off the wagon.

1. They Smell of Alcohol

If you notice the faint scent of alcohol lingering around your relative, particularly on their breath or clothing, they may have been drinking. Some drink secretly to avoid questions; however, alcohol leaves a telltale odour. Try gently asking if they’ve consumed alcohol recently when you notice this scent. Their defensive reaction may further confirm your suspicions.

2. Their Behavior is Different

Look for dramatic shifts in mood or energy levels. They may inexplicably become angry, depressed, tired, or even giddy. Irritability and secrecy are also common behavioural changes. These variations often indicate the presence of alcohol or withdrawal symptoms in a recovering alcoholic.

3. Alcohol Goes Missing

If your relative lives with you and bottles of liquor, wine, or beer seem to disappear at a rapid pace, it signals they’ve likely started consuming alcohol again. Even if they blame it on others, it’s often a cover for their own actions. Counting and monitoring your alcohol supply can help confirm if this is occurring.

4. They Miss Recovery Meetings

An alcoholic dedicated to recovery makes meeting attendance a priority. If they frequently skip or drop out of meetings altogether, it may mean they feel it is unnecessary because they’ve gone back to drinking. Ask about their meeting schedule to detect any gaps that correlate to periods of potential alcohol use.

5. Health Problems Worsen

Excessive drinking can take a toll on physical health, exacerbating conditions like diabetes, hypertension, liver damage, ulcers, and heart disease. If a recovering alcoholic relative experiences a noticeable decline in health and energy or an increase in related issues, alcohol may be the culprit behind this downward spiral. Their drinking likely compounds existing ailments.

Discreet Testing

If you are concerned about a loved one’s drinking, discreet home nail drug and alcohol tests from AlphaBiolabs are available to detect use. Home test kids from AlphaBiolabs can quantify metabolites. Conduct tests after periods of isolated time when drinking may occur. Once you have evidence that your loved one has started drinking again, you can present the test results gently and without judgment, focusing the conversation on treatment options. Discreet monitoring shows care while preserving dignity. With support, recovery is possible.

By staying alert to these warning signs, you can intervene early when a recovering alcoholic relative appears at risk of relapse. Express your concern and willingness to help, perhaps assisting them in speaking to their healthcare provider or attending recovery meetings. Your support could inspire them to recommit to sobriety before falling into full relapse. With vigilance and compassion, you may guide them back onto the wagon they briefly abandoned.

Srima Khara
Srima Khara
Hi! I'm Srima, a travel enthusiast and passionate cook who loves to explore the world and its diverse cultures. Through my blog, I share unique travel experiences and culinary adventures, aiming to inspire others to discover the joys of traveling and the art of cooking.

Related Posts


Recent Stories