I know you are thinking that this one is easy to spot. I beg to differ. Certainly, if you meet a fellow in a bar and he is slamming drinks or if you have witnessed him on several occasions stammering his speech and falling down stupid, you are in a position to say that there may be an alcohol consumption issue at play. You must keep in mind however that The Drunk is not necessarily an alcoholic nor a heavy drinker. Sometimes what appears to be a drunk may in fact be someone on a temporary binge. A couple times a year is allright, weekly or daily binge drinking presents a problem. Consequently, The Drunk can also be millions of college aged revellers at any one time. This is not what I am discussing here.
What I loosely refer to as The Drunk, is a person with an addictive personality. Yes, it is quite possible that alcohol is their addiction of choice but it can also be drugs, sex, food, even violent behavior or a host of other things. The relevant factor to be cognizant of is that they are quite adept at hiding this facet of their personality and will make constant excuses for it. Frequently someone with an addiction will insist that they are in complete control when questioned. Emphatically protesting that they are able to give up whatever it may be that takes up so much of their time, is excessively costly and is intruding on the day to day functions of their and your lives.
A person with an addiction to alcohol will not generally present themselves as described in the opening paragraph. A substance addict hides their addiction adroitly. Only periodically seen imbibing, one is never aware of the full extent to which they consume. A true alcoholic must drink alcohol everyday. Someone who is depressed and drinking frequently can turn into an alcoholic rather quickly if they have an addictive personality. In a relationship this can take years to manifest and will often catch their partner unaware. A few beers at the outset can turn into 2 fifths of tequila easily in 10 years. Not a pretty sight to behold.
This is summarily true of a drug addiction. Drug addictions are nearly impossible to diagnose even if you are living and sleeping with the person for years. Drug addicts have the uncanny ability to not only hide the symptoms of drug usage but will frequently have convoluted stories about their wherabouts and their money issues. Items of value will go missing. Absurd explanations will be given until the partner is convinced that they are the one losing their faculties.
All addicitive type personalities need a co-dependant partner. This is necessary to provide validation and corraboration. It is their mission to coax you into their lifestyle, help them to obtain the substance of choice one way or another, feel pity on them and ultimately to accept blame for their addicition. Addictive personalities often suffer from forms of narcissism and/or passive-aggressive behavioral traits. Do your research if you are concerned. You must be ever watchful if this is or has been occurring. It is near impossible to break free from a co-dependant relationship whatever the root cause is. It will take years off of your life and take years to heal from it.
Recently internet pornography has become a serious pastime for many, as the ease with which it is available and can easily lead to an obsession and addiction to sex. Absorbitant amounts of money can be spent on internet porn sites, phone sex and can ultimately lead to strip bars and paid sex through escorts services and prostitution. Not only a costly addiction and morally apprehensive to many, it can lead to dangerous dealings with criminal elements much like drug usage will. As with drug, sex and alcohol addiction, victims come from all walks of life. It is not a habit belonging only to the lower social classes or the less financially well off. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Unfortunately, recognizing The Drunk may take some investigating and continuous observation for the symptoms. If there is a solid and concrete suspicion, unless the person suspecting addiction suffers from paranoia or delusion themselves, then one must take heed to the inner voice and gut instincts. One additional cautionary note, an addict, The Drunk, will frequently accuse their significant other of indulging in whatever it is that they are participating in. Accusatory behavior combined with erratic behavior, even if only periodic, is a very good indication that you are dealing with a person with much to hide.