10 Signs That You Might Be An Alcoholic & Need Help
When you drink regularly, you’re likely to develop some alcoholic behavioral patterns that are common in alcohol consumers and problem drinkers. The majority of people who consume alcohol regularly will not be alcoholic. However, if you find yourself exhibiting several of the following signs regularly, it may be time to seek help from an addiction professional.
Alcoholism can be insidious, sneaking up on you and taking over your life without you even realizing it. Even if you don’t think you have an alcohol concern, there are signs that point to alcohol addiction, which can be just as dangerous as alcoholism itself. Keep in mind that any one of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an alcohol concern, but if more than one or two applies to you, it might be time to seek help. Here are ten signs that indicate alcoholism or alcohol addiction might be affecting your life.
1) You are always sure about your drinking habits
Are you unsure if you’re a social drinker or an alcoholic? Do you have difficulty making decisions about whether to drink and how much to drink? When your friends ask for advice about their drinking habits, do you find yourself stumbling for answers? If so, there’s a good chance that you struggle with alcohol abuse. In addition to asking yourself these questions, consider speaking with someone who knows about alcoholism and can help answer your questions and concerns. Whether it’s a counselor, therapist, or medical professional, it is never too late to seek professional help.
The 4 C’s: Drinking excessively isn’t just physically harmful; it also impacts relationships and emotional well-being. This is why it is important to think of four C words when trying to determine if you are abusing alcohol: Control, Commitment, Consequences, and Changes.
2) Your Drinking Interferes With Sleep or Work
If your drinking is interrupting your sleep or causing you to show up late to work or miss it entirely, then that’s a problem. If you find yourself struggling to maintain a job due to alcohol use, you may want to seek help. Drinking too much can cause concerns in other aspects of your life as well. Some people develop a hard time maintaining personal relationships with family and friends because of their drinking habits. It can also make socializing more difficult for some people, who struggle to make conversation when they are intoxicated. It’s essential to remember that substance abuse has many negative consequences and while you might not be an alcoholic yet if your drinking begins to interfere with your ability to function on a day-to-day basis, it might be time for professional help.
3) You Don’t Know How To Stop Drinking
If you’re no longer able to control how much or how often you drink, it’s a clear sign that your relationship with alcohol has become an addiction. You may feel as though you don’t know how to stop drinking alcohol, and at times feel powerless over it. This can be both scary and sad, especially if you care about your health and relationships but aren’t sure what to do about your addiction. Fortunately, there are many ways for people to find help for alcoholism. For example, attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings is a great way for newcomers to learn more about addiction and start developing healthy habits around sobriety.
4) Drinking puts you in risky situations
Drinking when you’re out at a bar or restaurant with friends can put you in potentially dangerous situations. For example, your drinks may be SPI, or you could be taken advantage of in other ways. With alcohol clouding your judgment, it may not occur to you that these types of things are happening to you. However, if they do happen, it can result in issues like memory loss and more serious consequences such as sexual assault and rape. If you’ve ever woken up feeling confused about what happened after drinking, there is a chance that something bad happened while you were intoxicated. If you have experienced anything like this, contact local authorities immediately, so they can get involved. It’s also important to talk to someone about your situation; if you think you might be an alcoholic, reach out for help.
5) You’ve missed work or school due to drinking
It’s not uncommon for alcoholics to miss a lot of work. Missing days of school or arriving late because you were hungover, even if it happens occasionally, is also an indication that you need help. If your grades are slipping, people are commenting on your drinking habits, and you find yourself lying about how much you drink, it’s time to get some help. Your health and safety can also be at risk when you drink too much. One in five deaths due to car accidents involves someone who has been drinking. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgment and coordination, making driving dangerous—especially if you’re used to being drunk behind the wheel. Drinking heavily over long periods of time can also lead to liver disease, heart problems and other serious illnesses.
6) People have expressed concern about your drinking habits
If other people notice that you’re drinking too much, it might be time to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol. If you begin to feel guilty or defensive about how much you drink, it may be helpful to take a step back and consider whether something is wrong. Alcoholism is a real disorder—and one that’s surprisingly common. In fact, alcoholism affects millions of Americans each year. It can impact anyone regardless of age, gender, race or social status. Many people who struggle with alcoholism can keep their addiction hidden from others for years before seeking help. So if someone has expressed concern about your alcoholic habits, don’t brush them off as being overly critical—it could be an indication that there’s an issue.
7) You find that when you don’t drink, you still think about alcohol.
If you are finding that alcohol is becoming more of a focal point in your life, it might be time to consider seeking help. For some people, not drinking isn’t even an option because they become so anxious or depressed when they can’t have a drink. If you find yourself obsessing for being alcoholic and having disturbing thoughts about not being able to drink again, seek professional help immediately. It may be a sign that you need to look into detox or rehab programs. If you think you’re addicted to alcohol, here’s what to do: The best way to know if you’re addicted is if someone close to you tells you—and if your body is telling you too.
Here are 10 signs that may indicate addiction: Your friends and family notice changes in your behaviour; things like showing up late for events or canceling plans last minute are common signs of alcoholism. You experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping heavy use, including anxiety, sweating, insomnia, and irritability.
8) You continue to drink even though it causes problems in your relationships
For some people, drinking alcohol is a social pastime. For others, drinking has a bigger impact on their relationships than they’d like. If you notice your loved ones beginning to avoid certain social functions because of your alcohol use or if they begin to express frustration with you regarding your booze consumption, these are warning signs that might point to alcoholism. If you see yourself in these descriptions, it might be time to get some help for your drinking problem. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NI AAA) offers several resources for those looking to cut back or quit drinking altogether. For example, NI AAA has created a screening tool called AUDIT-C to determine whether an individual may have an alcohol abuse disorder.
In addition, there are numerous resources available online from NI AAA and other reputable organizations dedicated to helping individuals identify whether they have an alcohol abuse disorder and how best to move forward with treatment options (e.g., medications, group therapy).
9) Drinking takes away your problems temporarily, but they come back worse than before
When alcohol no longer has any effect on your life or your concerns, you’re likely to be more alcoholic and drink too much. Having to drink more and more to get drunk is another warning sign of alcoholism. If you find yourself thinking about drinking all day long, that’s a red flag as well. It’s important to remember that alcohol doesn’t solve anything; it only creates new problems in its place. If you find yourself needing a drink just to cope with everyday stressors, it might be time for an intervention. Your family and friends can help by learning how to talk to you about your concern. They may even have insight into how your addiction developed, which will help them come up with strategies for getting you into treatment.
10) In the past year, have you continued to drink despite knowing that it was causing damage in any area of your life?
Continuing to drink even after being aware of how alcohol was negatively affecting your life is a classic symptom of alcohol abuse. If you’ve found yourself making excuses for your drinking (e.g., My job performance isn’t that bad—and besides, I work in creative!), it might be time to seek help. While many people can moderate their drinking habits and avoid developing an alcoholic addiction, if you find yourself unable to control your consumption or stop thinking about alcohol all day long, then it’s probably best to speak with a professional. They can recommend treatment options and guide you through recovery. There’s no need to wait until you feel like things have hit rock bottom before seeking help. Alcoholism impacts millions of Americans every year, but only 10 percent receive treatment—which means there’s still hope for those who want to recover from their dependency on alcohol. The sooner you act, the better your chances are at living a healthy and fulfilling life free from substance abuse!
While it’s always a good idea to drink responsibly, there’s no shame in having a glass of wine or beer with dinner or enjoying an occasional cocktail when you’re out on a date. But if you find yourself drinking all day long, feel like alcohol is interfering with your relationships and health, or need help getting sober and staying sober, then it might be time to reach out for professional help. Contact 12-step groups like AA (alcoholics anonymous) for resources that can put you on track for recovery. Although sobriety isn’t for everyone, many individuals report feeling more productive and healthier after going through rehab—so give yourself every chance to enjoy sobriety! Don’t let alcohol addiction ruin your life—get help today.