The Subtle Signs of Alcohol Problem

10 Warning Signs of an Alcohol Problem You Might Be Overlooking

Are you worried that your relationship with alcohol might be becoming problematic? Often, the signs of alcohol misuse can be subtle, sneaking up on us without notice until they become glaringly obvious. But catching these signs early can make all the difference in getting back on track. Let's delve into some of the red flags that might indicate it's time to take a closer look at your drinking habits:

1. Loss of Interest in Non-Alcohol Related Activities
- Have you found yourself losing interest in hobbies or activities that don't involve alcohol? Making excuses to avoid social situations unless alcohol is involved could be a sign of dependency.

2. Planning Life Around Alcohol
- Do you find yourself constantly planning your days, vacations, or meals around alcohol consumption? This preoccupation can signal a deeper issue with alcohol dependency.

3. Sensitivity or Avoidance of the Topic
- Are you uncomfortable discussing...

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Are You Living With An Alcoholic Narcissist?

The Double Whammy: Dealing with an Addicted Narcissist

If you've stumbled upon this blog post, chances are you might have caught wind of my recent YouTube video discussing the tumultuous world of dealing with an addicted narcissist. Yep, you heard it right. It's like the perfect storm of personality traits that can make life feel like a rollercoaster ride through a hurricane.

Now, if you're new, let me introduce myself. I'm Amber Hollingsworth, a seasoned Master Addiction Counselor with over two decades of experience helping people struggling with addiction and their families navigate the treacherous waters of addiction. Buckle up, because today, we're diving deep into the murky waters where narcissism and addiction collide.

So, what's the deal with narcissism, you ask? Well, it's been a hot topic lately, and for good reason. Narcissistic abuse is no joke, and distinguishing whether you're dealing with a garden-variety addict or a full-blown narcissist (or perhaps both)...

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The Right Way To Motivate Someone to Recovery

Convincing Someone to Seek Addiction Help: Tips from Amber Hollingsworth

Are you struggling to persuade a loved one to seek help for addiction? Amber Hollingsworth, a seasoned Master Addiction Counselor, shares invaluable insights gained from over two decades in the field. Here's a breakdown of her expert advice:

1. Mind Your Tone: Approach the conversation with calmness and empathy. Avoid conveying fear or frustration, as it can trigger resistance.

2. Set the Stage: Ensure the individual acknowledges their addiction before initiating the discussion about seeking help.

3. Identify Motivators and Roadblocks: Compile a list of what motivates them to change and the potential barriers they face. This insight aids in tailoring your approach.

4. Active Listening: Engage in active listening to understand their perspective better and gather essential information for later use.

5. Avoid Mislabeling Intentions: Refrain from assigning negative intentions to their actions. Instead, acknowledge...

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The Dangers of Counseling

The Risks of Counseling for Your Addicted Loved One: Why Timing and Insight Matter

Are you grappling with the daunting task of convincing your addicted loved one to seek counseling? Before you dive headfirst into individual or couples therapy, it's crucial to understand the potential pitfalls that could arise. In this insightful post, we'll explore why rushing into counseling can sometimes backfire and how timing and insight play vital roles in the effectiveness of therapy.

Why Couples Counseling Might Not Be the Solution

You might believe that couples counseling could be the key to addressing your loved one's substance abuse issues. After all, it's an opportunity to address relationship dynamics while tackling addiction. Unfortunately, the reality is often far from ideal.

One significant risk of couples counseling is the potential for each party to seek validation from the counselor. Your loved one may enter the session expecting the therapist to side with their perspective,...

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How Loving An Alcoholic Can Change You And Your Relationship

Losing Yourself: The Descent into Desperation When Living with Addiction

Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt like a stranger stared back at you? Maybe it wasn't immediate, but over time, living with someone battling addiction can make you feel like you're disappearing, piece by piece. In this blog post, we'll delve into the journey of losing yourself amidst the chaos of addiction, exploring the hidden toll it takes on your emotional and psychological well-being.

Co-Regulation: The Unseen Influence

The journey into the abyss of self-loss often begins subtly. Co-regulation, a term that might sound new to some, describes how our emotional states synchronize with those around us. When living with someone struggling with addiction, whose emotional rollercoaster knows no bounds, your own emotions become entangled in their turmoil. It's a magnetic force, beyond your control, as your limbic brain dances to the chaotic rhythm of theirs.

The Onslaught of Self-Doubt

As the addiction...

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The Truth About Alcohol Relapse Triggers

relapse prevention Jan 23, 2024

Navigating Relapse: Understanding Triggers and Building Resilience


In today's blog post, we delve into the intricate factors involved in the relapse process, focusing on triggers and vulnerabilities. The journey to recovery is a challenging one, and understanding these elements is crucial for building resilience. Let's explore the key aspects:

1. The Vulnerability Crack:
The relapse process often involves a vulnerability, a crack in the armor where addiction can seep in. This vulnerability is often rooted in thoughts or processes, such as the fear of missing out, the belief that the grass is greener, or doubts about being an addict. The importance of protecting against this vulnerability is emphasized in a linked video.

2. Triggers: People, Places, and Things:
Triggers play a significant role in the automatic craving for addictive behavior, even for individuals committed to sobriety. The first trigger highlighted is people. Certain individuals in your life may be strongly associated...

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Amber's Top 10 Strategies For Getting An Alcoholic Out Of Denial

addiction denial Jan 16, 2024

Strategies to Help a Loved One Overcome Alcohol Denial
Dealing with a loved one's alcoholism can be challenging, especially when they are in denial. In this blog post, we'll explore ten effective strategies to help someone confront their alcohol issues. These tips, compiled from the Put The Shovel Down YouTube channel, emphasize the importance of empathy, understanding, and subtlety in approaching a sensitive situation.

1. Turn in Your Detective Badge:
If you suspect a loved one has an alcohol problem, avoid becoming overly preoccupied with proving it. Constantly questioning and spying can lead to trust issues and a cat-and-mouse game. Instead, focus on building open communication and trust.

2. You Don't Need a Full Confession:
Understand that individuals with alcohol use disorders will manifest their struggles through unmanageability. Avoid trying to force confessions, as it may backfire. Allow them to recognize the need for change on their own terms.

3. Model Humility:
Admitting...

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Personalities of Addicted Loved Ones

Navigating the Maze of Addiction: Tailoring Your Approach Based on Personality

Dealing with a loved one battling addiction is an intricate journey, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. In this video transcript, we delve into the importance of understanding your addicted loved one's personality to tailor your approach effectively. As we emphasize on staying five steps ahead of addiction, individual differences become crucial considerations in your support strategy.

Identifying Personality Traits:

Every person is unique, and addiction doesn't manifest the same way for everyone. Recognizing your loved one's personality traits, such as avoidance, confrontational tendencies, or trust issues, becomes pivotal in devising a strategic plan for support.

Case in Point:

The transcript recounts a scenario where a person, initially following general advice, discovered a shift in their loved one's behavior. Upon learning that the loved one was a direct communicator, the approach was...

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The Psychology Behind Aggressive Drunk Behavior

The Science Behind Aggressive Drunk Behavior

 If you or someone you care about has ever exhibited aggressive or hostile behavior. At the same time, under the influence of alcohol, it's crucial to take a moment and reflect on the science behind these actions. In this blog post, we'll delve into the patterns and scientific reasons that make aggressive drunk behavior a serious issue that requires careful consideration.

The Patterns of Drunken Behavior:

We've all encountered various types of drunk personas – the "I love you man" drunk, the tearful drunk, the angry drunk, the obnoxious life of the party drunk, and the make-bad-decisions drunk. While these may seem like stereotypes, they often represent patterns that individuals fall into when they consume alcohol regularly.

The Impact of Alcohol on the Brain:

Alcohol has a profound effect on the brain, particularly on the frontal lobe, which is responsible for filtering information, using judgment, and weighing...

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Is Your Spouse In Denial About Their Alcohol Addiction?

Cracking the Code: A Real Talk Guide to Helping Your Loved One Overcome Addiction

Today's post is a deep dive into a topic that hits close to home for many of us: helping someone we care about overcome addiction. I recently discussed this on my YouTube channel, emphasizing the importance of not just knowing the steps to get sober but understanding how to get someone to want to take those steps. It's not about being a counselor; it's about being a genuine support system. Let's break down the key insights.

Step 1: Ditch the Bad Guy Role
The first challenge is stepping out of the "bad guy" role. When dealing with someone struggling with addiction, it's common to feel the urge to come down hard on them. But the magic happens when you align with them unexpectedly. Don't play into the expected anger; instead, be on their side. Acknowledge the unfairness of their situation because, well, it's true.

Step 2: Become the Trusted Advisor
Next up is earning the role of the trusted advisor. It's...

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