Secret Drinking- The Hidden Signs Of Alcoholism

How can you see the signs of secret drinking when people with an alcohol problem become so good at hiding it from those they spend time with? Many people enjoy a nice glass of wine occasionally, or a pint in a pub. But how can you tell when things get out of hand and alcohol consumption becomes an addictive habit?

Alcohol addiction isn’t always easy to spot, and this can trick people into believing they don’t need help. This means it’s often left to those around them to notice the signs. You may be left wondering how you can see the signs when people with a drinking problem become so adept at concealing it.

How To Recognise Alcoholism

No one ever thinks addiction can happen to them or someone in their family but, sadly, it does. Some see it as simply enjoying a good drink but, in reality, they can have a real alcohol misuse problem.

If you are concerned about your own drinking habits will you open up to your friends and family?

Or if you are concerned that someone close to you might have an alcohol problem, would you confront them?

Honesty may be the best approach to facing addiction and seeking help, but it isn’t always easy. Studies show alcoholism often stems from genetic, environmental, and psychosocial factors. While it’s important to note there’s a difference between abusing alcohol and being addicted to alcohol, it’s also important to note that long-term alcohol abuse can have a serious impact on a person’s mental and physical health.


What Is Secret Drinking?

Not everyone who drinks alone is secretly drinking; the important factor here is intent. A secret drinker has planned that their drinking will remain hidden from others around them, it is their intent that their drinking will go unnoticed, which they may or may not want to admit.

They might add alcohol to a soft drink without telling others, or top up a vodka or gin bottle with water to disguise the amount that was taken from the bottle. Hiding alcohol from friends, family and others so it appears as if you had no more to drink than anyone else is again a clear indicator of a wider issue.

If you or someone you know hides alcohol or empty bottles in your room, under your bed or in the outside bin, in the hope of concealing how much you have drunk, that too could be a sign of problem drinking. A common need among people who develop a high tolerance for alcohol is to drink more in order to get the desired effect.

Do you feel you need to drink more to achieve the effect of alcohol and are you ashamed for others to see the amount that you need to drink? 

Are you worried by the amount that you are drinking in order to feel how you used to feel after one glass? Do you often find yourself drinking before going out to an event where there will be alcohol, to ‘get ahead?

This might be indicative of an underlying alcohol consumption problem.

How To Recognise The Signs Of Hidden Alcoholism

There are a few ways you can recognise signs of hidden alcoholism and secret drinking.

Here are a few questions you can answer in order to identify an abnormal drinking pattern:

  • Do you sometimes feel that you should cut down on your drinking? 
  • Do you get annoyed when people criticise your drinking or try to talk to you about your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about the amount you drink?
  • Do you have a high tolerance to alcohol and find that you need to drink more to get the same effect you used to?
  • Are you often looking for acceptable excuses to drink?
  • Do you have blackouts from drinking?
  • Have you ever poured a drink the first thing in the morning to get rid of a hangover?
  • Is alcohol your favourite “escape”?
  • Do you spend a long time thinking about alcohol and when you will next drink?


How People Disguise Their Drinking

Some people will choose drinks that are easy to disguise – for example, they might prefer to drink vodka because it is clear and doesn’t have a strong smell. It is easy for them to hide vodka in their water bottle, adding it to tea or a soft drink so that others won’t notice what they are doing. People with alcohol addiction might also hide their drinking habits by hiding empty cans and bottles deep into their rubbish bins, or in cupboards, cabinets, or under and behind furniture.

If you find bottles tucked away in places like these, this could be a sign someone you care about has a drinking problem that needs help.

At UK Detox we work with a wide range of rehabilitation facilities and detox centres around the country to suit your needs and circumstances and provide home detox’s. We are a premier service with an extremely high success rate, offering addicts the opportunity to get clean and sober and live a successful life. We are living proof that it is achievable and now we are here to help you on your journey into recovery. Change your story, change your life. 


  1. Angela Saxby

    Om a secret drinker and I need help

    • Amandeep Dhami

      Hi Angela,

      Please either send a message or ring our number to discuss further.



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