Alcohol may be openly available to adults, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a safe substance. Many people struggle with alcohol addiction. In the United States, it’s estimated that approximately 14.5 million people have alcohol use disorder (AUD). Often, someone in the depths of excessive drinking will go through the effort of hiding alcohol or concealing the amount they’re drinking.

If you think a loved one might be hiding their drinking, this guide can help. Here are all the common places where to hide alcohol.

Why Someone Might Hide Alcohol

First, it’s essential to understand why someone might be hiding liquor. Drinking is a perfectly acceptable action when done in the right situations and in appropriate amounts. Having a glass of wine at dinner or a few beers with friends shouldn’t cause anyone any shame.

However, that all changes when people start developing an addiction and find themselves drinking at inappropriate times. For example, wanting to drink at breakfast or getting black-out drunk at a casual work gathering. When this uncontrollable urge to drink takes over, people can feel incredibly embarrassed and ashamed that they can’t restrain themselves.

Deep down, someone hiding their drinking knows they have a problem. That is why they aren’t drinking openly in front of others. They’re in denial, don’t want to face their addiction and hope they won’t get caught.

Of course, alcohol addiction is a serious condition that shouldn’t be ignored. You may not want to confront someone about their drinking without evidence first. That’s why it can be helpful to try to find the hidden alcohol before you have a confrontational conversation.

Common Places for Hiding Alcohol

So, are you wondering where alcoholics hide their stash? Here are the five most popular places where to hide alcohol in the house.

Dresser Drawers

Unless you suspect a person of something, you probably have no reason to snoop through their clothes drawers. This is precisely why so many people hide their secret booze in their drawers. You can place a bottle (or two) in the back of your sock or underwear drawer and feel fairly confident that no one will come across it.

Other Drink Containers

One of the easiest ways to drink alcohol in front of others without getting caught is to use an unsuspecting container. If you walk around with a water bottle full of alcohol, no one will be the wiser.

This also works for adding alcohol to “normal” beverages. For example, someone might add brandy to their morning coffee or vodka to their orange juice.


Americans spend an average of eight hours and 22 minutes weekly in their cars. For someone trying to hide their drinking, their vehicle provides a safe space to have a quick sip. They can drink while driving alone, have a place to hide their alcohol without anyone noticing and can also keep empty bottles away from suspicious eyes. And when they crave liquor, they can just make up an excuse to go to their car, where they can have a quick drink.


This hiding spot might surprise some because the bathroom is a communal area in many homes. While some people might be lucky enough to have their own bathrooms, many have to share with others in their households.

However, you can actually hide bottles here without anyone noticing. You can sneak a bottle into the very far back of the cabinet, and it’s likely that no one will go digging back there to find it. We all need alone time in the bathroom a few times a day. This means every time the person showers or uses the toilet, they can have a few sips from their secret bottle without anyone knowing.

Bags and Purses

Lastly, a common hiding place for alcohol is in bags and purses, so drinks are brought on the go. It’s unusual for people to go through another person’s bag, so alcohol can be hidden here without ever being noticed. And the person then always has liquor with them, so they can satisfy their cravings throughout the day.

What to Do if You Stumble Upon a Stash of Alcohol

Now you know where to look to find someone’s supply and clean it out. Know that if you throw out someone’s alcohol and believe they’re struggling with addiction, you should have a plan in place to deal with the aftermath. Addiction is a mental health condition, not a choice. Blaming the individual for their drinking will not be productive or cause them to want help.

After you’ve spilled the supply of hidden alcohol, consider following these steps:

  • Be home when they come back to discover their stash is gone.
  • Be ready to have an open conversation about their drinking without escalating to shaming or blaming. Use “I” statements about how your feel or are impacted by their drinking rather than “you” statements that can sound harsh and accusatory.
  • Know what course of action you would like the person to take. For example, now might be the time to ask them to consider going into rehab to get sober.

What To Do if You Find Yourself Concealing the Amount of Your Alcohol Use

If you’ve come across this page looking for ideas on where to hide your alcohol, please take a moment to stop and reflect on your situation. You are hiding your drinking because you know the loved ones around you would be concerned if they knew the extent of it.

Excessive alcohol consumption can have serious physical and mental health side effects that can last years. The good news is that you can recover from your addiction and get sober. Addiction is a disease that takes over your mind and stops you from putting your best interest first anymore. It’s time to put you first again. Let your loved ones know how much alcohol has taken over your life, and seek professional help. Sobriety will help you get your life back.

Sunlight Recovery Helps With Alcohol Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is hiding alcohol, it’s time to make a change. Alcohol use disorder is a terrible disease, but you can overcome it. At Sunlight Recovery, we’ll help you through your recovery so you can find your way to sober living. Find out more by calling us today.