Detect if you have an alcohol problem
Edited by Ephraim, Charmed, Eng, estrella sacragon and 2 others
Enjoying alcohol in moderation can be harmless in itself but when your drinking habits begin to affect your health, your work and your relationships, it's time to ask yourself; do I have a problem?
Many people around the world have problems with alcohol and when unchecked and untreated it can lead to a complete meltdown of your social and family structures and also your health. In some cases, people have ended up with serious alcohol dependencies and addictions. Even if you're only considering that you might have a problem, take a look at our guide below to identify the most common signs that you may be developing, or already have an alcohol problem.
Ask Yourself The Important Questions
- 1Assess yourself first and think about your drinking patterns. Find answers for questions like, how often do you drink? Are you often drinking during social events? Are you getting drunk when you drink? Do you often have hangovers? If you're answering yes to these then it's a sign that you can be in the beginning stages of dependency or addiction.Advertisement
- 2Find out the reasons why you drink alcohol. Sometimes the cause or the reason for your drinking can indicate a developing problem or addiction. Drinking to relieve stress or to wind down can be OK when it's not a pattern but if you are relying on only alcohol in these situations then it's more likely you will become dependent. Similarly drinking to avoid a problem or a situation can lead to dependency and is not an effective way of dealing with situations. Social pressure can also be a reason to drink. If you find yourself drinking often with a certain social group, you can minimize your time with the group or try and steer the group in to other activities that don't involve drinking.Advertisement
- 3Do you have hangovers after drinking? Having a hangover is an indicator that you drank more than your body was able to process. A hangover is an unpleasant condition where people can be dehydrated, lacking in focus and self control as well as being generally irritable. If you're having hangovers often, the chances are that you are frequently drinking at more than a moderate level. If you continue drinking regularly, despite the hangovers, it can be a sign that you are becoming dependent or addicted to alcohol.
- 4Take a look at your families history of alcohol problems. It's not completely proven by science, but there is suggestive research that genetics can play a role in your tendency towards alcohol dependency and addiction. Even ignoring genetics, growing up around alcohol especially if it was widely consumed and acceptable among adult family members, can increase the risk of you developing a drinking habit and further problems.
- 5Does the thought of quitting alcohol seem easy or even appeal to you? If you feel as if you cannot do it or that you would not be successful in your attempt then you already have a problem with alcohol. If you feel hostility towards abstaining, then this also suggests you already have a dependency or an addiction to alcohol.
- 6Speak to a family member or friend about your drinking. Even if the truth is hard to hear, those who care about you will be honest about your drinking. Even if just one or two people are concerned about your drinking, it's enough reason to start making steps to resolve your problems with alcohol.
Addressing Your Alcohol Problem
- 1Discover healthy ways to enjoy alcohol and how often you should drink. It can be OK to drink in moderation, even when drinking everyday. In many cultures it's traditional to drink wine with meals but it is not a means to become drunk, but rather a compliment to the food. Drinking heavily each day is unhealthy and should be avoided. Consider as well that it takes around one hour for your body to process a standard drink. More than one drink per hour results in physical intoxication, even if you don't feel drunk.Advertisement
- 2Completely abstain from drinking. If you can't drink moderately, the only option left is to cut out all drinking. This can be very hard to do especially if you've been drinking heavily up to that point. Talk to family members and friends first so that you can have support around you.
- 3Seek help from an organization if you have an issue stopping by yourself. If you're not comfortable approaching family or friends, or if that method is not working, joining an organization or seeing a private counselor can help you to overcome dependency or alcohol addiction.
- 4For more detailed information on quitting drinking, check out our companion article here.
What are the Signs that You Need Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
Sometimes a problem becomes more and turns in to alcohol addiction. Below are some key indicators that you should seek help immediately from people close to you or from treatment professionals.
- 1Is drinking your priority? Prioritizing drinking rather than doing household chores, office responsibilities or school work is a strong indicator of addiction.
Tips, Tricks & Warnings
- Don't ignore advice or suggestions from people close to you. Often someone afflicted with an alcohol problem will be in a state of denial when accepting the problem.
- Remember a problem is not an addiction yet, identifying problem patterns early can help you to adjust your behavior and avoid dependence or addiction. *Even if you don't identify a problem yet, healthy drinking should be practiced by everyone to reduce the risk of dependency and addiction developing.