Alcohol abuse is something that can sneak up on you. If you think you show signs of a drinking problem, there is a good chance that you are already on the right path to getting better. After all, denial is the biggest enemy of substance abuse.
What are some signs that your drinking habits may be a problem?
There are several signs that you will experience and exhibit that can help you determine if your drinking habits are problematic. The most important thing you can do if you feel like you are experienced alcohol abuse or alcoholism is to know what these signs are. From there, you can better determine how to get the help you need.
When and Why Are You Drinking?
One of the first things you will want to consider is when and why you are drinking. When are you drinking? Why are you drinking? Many people feel that you only have an alcohol problem if you are drinking large amounts all the time, but that is not exactly true. You can still have a drinking problem if you drink at inappropriate times or as a direct way to cope with stressors and unresolved emotions. Consider what your drinking patterns are, but also consider the “why” behind these patterns. Any of these drinking behaviors can serve as an indicator that alcohol is becoming a problem in your life and you need to begin taking action.
Are You Binge Drinking?
Another question to ask yourself is “Am I binge drinking?” Binge drinking is usually defined as men having 5 or more alcoholic beverages at a time and women having 4 or more alcoholic beverages at a time. Of course, the serving sizes differ depending on the alcohol being consumed, but in all honesty, drinking these amounts of liquor, beer, or wine within a short span on time can be a sign of something more serious. If you find that you are binge drinking often, or if your binge drinking is becoming more frequent, you may want to consider taking a step back and analyzing what is going on in your life so you can gather an idea of if you need help or not. In most cases, those who binge drink and do so regularly require some level of professional care, even if it is outpatient.
How Does Your Drinking Impact Your Life?
Next, consider the behaviors you engage in when under the influence and when hungover. Do you find yourself frequently hungover? Do your hangovers cause you to call out of work or miss a class? Have you missed or cancelled plans with friends or family because you were drunk or hungover? These are the questions, albeit tough questions, that you need to ask yourself. Are you exhibiting inappropriate behavior towards yourself and/or others when drunk? Do people comment on the differences in your personality when your drunk vs. when you are sober? All of these are significant warning signs of an alcohol problem that can quickly become out of hand if drinking continues.
Do You Struggle With Hiding Your Alcohol Consumption From Others?
Many people facing problems with alcohol often feel the need to hide their problem from friends and family. They might drink in private, deny the amount of alcohol they have consumed, or blame their alcohol consumption on something else (like a bad day at work). Have you ever felt the need to lie about the amount of alcohol consumed? Or have you ever hidden bottles or covered up for behavior that you exhibited while you were drinking? Have you ever felt nervous that there could be consequences if other knew how much you drink? Again, these are not easy questions to ask yourself, but, when you are honest with yourself, you can begin making significant progress in the right direction.
Other signs that you may have an alcohol problem can include the following:
- Constantly thinking about drinking, obtaining alcohol, and when you can drink again
- Developing withdrawal symptoms when unable to drink
- Making alcohol a priority over important and/or everyday life events
- Getting defensive about your alcohol consumption when asked about it
- Wanting to stop drinking but being unable to cut down or fully abstain
If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, the next step you should take is asking for some help. While you might be able to answer these questions on your own, it takes several experienced individuals to help you build a successful, sober life.
Alcohol and Successful Recovery
All of these questions require a lot of self reflection. It is important to remember that alcohol addiction does not look the same on every person. Some people with alcohol addictions can function on high levels, hold jobs, and even have successful family lives.
These can often be the most difficult to treat because many of these individuals believe that their ability to function means that they do not struggle with an addiction. This, however, could not be further from the truth. Alcoholics come in all different careers, personalities, and levels of functionality.
If you have answered yes to any of the questions above, or if you feel you alcohol is becoming a problem in your life, get in touch with us at 844-903-2111. We have councilors available 24 hours a day. Just remember, there are people who care. We are here for you.