Is My Husband an Alcoholic?

It’s normal to drink alcohol sometimes – we might have a glass of wine with dinner, enjoy a beer at a football game, or go to a bar to meet friends. Drinking in moderation can be healthy and not something to worry about. However, excessive and problematic drinking can cause severe damage to our health, social, and work life.

If you think your husband is drinking too much, it’s natural to be worried and wonder what you should do next. The good news is, help is available to support people as they look to stop drinking and avoid the devastating effects of alcohol abuse.

Symptoms of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) range from mild to severe. Severe AUDs often involve alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, where someone compulsively seeks and uses alcohol despite its negative consequences. However, any severity of AUD can be damaging, and mild disorders can become more severe with time.

But, how do you know if your spouse’s drinking is a problem? If you are hoping to uncover the answer, reading through some of the signs of alcohol addiction below may help. You might also like to speak to a treatment provider for advice or visit The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism page on AUD here for more information.

What Are the Physical Signs of a Drinking Problem?

1. Withdrawal Symptoms

If your partner experiences withdrawal symptoms when he tries to quit drinking, he probably has substance abuse issues.

Withdrawal symptoms are a sign of physical dependence on alcohol. If your spouse repeatedly drinks over some time, his body will adjust to the presence of the substance and adapt its natural production in response. He will experience withdrawal symptoms as his body readjusts if he suddenly stops drinking.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening. Your husband should never try to go cold turkey or detox from alcohol without professional medical support. Instead, it is in his best interest to contact a healthcare provider or an addiction treatment facility to discuss options for medical detox.

2. Short and Long-Term Health Problems

Alcohol abuse can lead to a range of medical conditions. These include reduced sexual functioning, stomach cramps, cirrhosis of the liver, and the exacerbation of existing conditions.

You may notice other physical signs of excessive drinking while your partner is under the influence, like passing out or blacking out.

What Are the Psychological and Emotional Signs of a Drinking Problem?

1. Changes in Mood and Mental Health Problems

Alcohol and drug abuse can have a serious impact on your husband’s mood and mental health. Alcohol will directly affect how his brain functions and change his brain chemicals. If your husband is abusing alcohol, he may experience sadness, irritability, and have difficulty concentrating. He may also develop alcohol-induced mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety disorders.

2. Drinking Dominates Their Life

While it is normal to drink alcohol from time to time, it should never be something that dominates your partner’s life. If your partner spends a lot of time thinking about, acquiring, and drinking alcohol, he may have a substance abuse problem.

3. Using Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism

While drinking in moderation can be a pleasurable part of everyday life, drinking to deal with or escape from difficult thoughts and feelings is always unhealthy.

Although drinking may help your husband feel better in the short term, it does nothing to tackle the underlying causes of emotional distress. Instead, it will likely harm his mental health. As a result, you may find that your husband feels worse in the long run and relies on alcohol, creating a destructive cycle.

If your husband uses alcohol as a coping mechanism, he needs to focus on the underlying causes of his thoughts and feelings. If he struggles with a mental health condition, he should seek professional treatment or advice on coping in healthy ways. Addiction treatment facilities usually offer treatment options such as dual diagnosis programs that simultaneously treat addiction and mental health disorders.

What Are the Relational Signs of a Drinking Problem?

Alcohol use disorders often cause strained relationships with spouses and other family members, especially as those struggling may lie or act secretively to hide their drinking habits. They may also spend less time with friends and family as they devote more time to drinking and recovering from alcohol.

If you have experienced new difficulties in your relationship with your husband, it may signify a drinking problem. Setting healthy boundaries is crucial to look after yourself and avoid unwillingly enabling your husband’s drinking.

What Is Excessive Drinking?

One of the most obvious signs of an alcohol use disorder is excessive drinking. Excessive drinking is when someone regularly drinks more than the recommended levels.

In its Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, the government defines drinking in moderation as one or two drinks a day or less, depending on whether you are a woman or a man. While occasionally exceeding this limit is okay, regularly drinking above these levels can damage a person’s short-term and long-term health.

Binge Drinking

One type of excessive drinking is binge drinking. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as when a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. For a typical male, this corresponds to having five or more drinks in the space of two hours.

Though many people overlook binge drinking, it can be hazardous and lead to alcohol poisoning (overdose) and even drunk driving.

Heavy Drinking

Heavy drinking is another form of excessive drinking. Here, people consistently drink a lot of alcohol. The NIAAA defines heavy drinking as consuming more than four drinks on any day or drinking more than fourteen drinks per week for a man and consuming more than three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks per week for women.

While the occasional spell of heavy drinking or night of binge drinking may not signify an alcohol use disorder, if your partner’s drinking regularly displays these patterns, he may have substance abuse problems.

Over time, these drinking habits can lead to short-term and long-term health problems like injury, liver disease, and some types of cancer. It also increases the risk of addiction or alcoholism, a chronic disease that requires long-term treatment and support.

Treatment and Recovery

Don’t panic if you think your husband may be struggling with alcoholism or substance abuse. There is help available, and recognizing the problem is often the first step in recovery.

Alcoholism is treatable. No matter how severe the problem, anyone can benefit from substance abuse treatment. There is a range of evidence-based treatment options available for alcohol use disorders, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Support groups
  • Complementary therapies, like yoga or acupuncture
  • Experiential therapies, like music or drama therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Family therapy

The sooner someone can start treatment, the better. You may like to talk to your husband openly about their drinking habits – being careful to avoid criticism – or seek professional support to stage an intervention.

Maintaining a relationship with someone living with an alcohol use disorder or in recovery can be emotionally and physically tiring – you must look after yourself too. Family therapy sessions can help support the loved ones of people in recovery throughout the treatment process and the following years.

With the right support, your family can overcome alcohol abuse and rebuild the strong and caring relationships you long for.

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team


Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine