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Seeing the signs by Ian Young

How can you spot the signs whether a loved one is an alcoholic or addict? There are certain characteristics that can be assumed for someone that is addicted or severely dependent. Ian Young, addictions consultant and founder of Sober Services, discusses these


There are three different aspects of addictive behaviour:

Being unable to control consumption levels, therefore hiding how much they are tolerating.

Inability to stop oneself from reigniting their addiction; the user loses the power of choice.

Personality shifts can be displayed; their attitude becomes selfish, self-centred and greedy.

Ask yourself the question: “Do I actually have a problem?

Have you made the decision to quit drinking/using for a week, but lasted only a few days, or tried to cut down but couldn’t?

Have your family or friends suggested you may have a problem? Do you wish people would not get involved in your drinking/using? Is this causing a conflict?

Have you drank/used more than intended? Have you regretted that first drink, line or pill?

Have you begun drinking/using alone? Have you begun to realise you need a drink/drug to get started, or to stop shaking in the morning?

Do you envy people who can drink/use without getting into trouble? Are you drinking /using in your bathroom, car, workplace or other public places?

Have you had health problems connected with your drinking/using and still carried on with it? Are you happy with your current sex life?

Have you stolen money for your next binge?

Do you try to ensure you get an extra drink/hit than those around you because it isn’t enough?

Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking/using at any time, even though you continue to get drunk/high?

Have you missed days off work because of drinking/using? Are you afraid if you stop, your quality of work will suffer?

If you answered YES to any of the questions,  it is likely you have a drink or drug problem.


Due to their own experiences, across the Sober Services team and the displayed behavioural patterns, the team are there to help find the appropriate method available towards recovery, to fit in your circumstances and lifestyle.

Only the individual is able to determine whether it is the right time or not.

The Sober Services team are fully trained and have the right knowledge to help individuals through recovery with intervention and treatment programmes. Sometimes the problem is obvious, but often hidden or denied out of shame, guilt and remorse. Sober Services are trained to practise the right methods in approaching each individual’s situation so they can benefit fully from the results.

Sober Services offers a range of treatments specific for every individual’s circumstances. One treatment programme is Sober Interventions. This is one of the most loving and kind acts that anyone can perform to those who are suffering from addiction.

Families, friends or employees can ask themselves the questions; Do they have mood swings out of the ordinary? Is there a marked change in their behaviour and routine? Do they isolate themselves? Is there a difference in their body appearance? Are they obviously intoxicated but in denial?

This can form the basis on the approach to take with the intervention. Sober Services are specially trained and experienced to help guides families, friends and colleagues of those suffering through a well planned and executed procedure.

The individual is likely to respond well to an offer of help from one of the compassionate and understanding Sober Intervention team. The team takes a non-judgemental stance and demonstrates the love and care the individual needs to come to terms with their situation and recovery process.

The Sober Services team understands the issues which can surface in each individual’s condition as they have been through it themselves. They can help.

For more information on the treatments programmes available and the team, visit soberservices.co.uk,  Facebook facebook.com/soberservices/, twitter @Sober_Services

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