If you’re worried you may be drinking too much, take a look at the list of common warning signs you’re an alcoholic.
No one sets out to become an alcoholic. Addiction always begins innocently. Someone might begin to drink on the weekends with friends, for example. Then, they might start drinking two or three nights after work. Then, they might develop to drinking every night until they’re drinking every day. Sometimes, the feeling of not being able to stop drinking (a strong indication that addiction has set in) happens rather quickly.
If you or someone you know is drinking regularly, here are key signs that can point to an addiction to alcohol:
- Regularly experiencing hungover in the mornings.
- Avoiding or neglecting family, social, or work responsibilities.
- Failing to meet obligations or commitments because of drinking.
- Feeling as though you cannot stop You might continue until you black out.
- Beginning to worry that your drinking is affecting your relationships with family and friends
- Spending a lot of time thinking about and even fantasizing about drinking
- Hiding your drinking such as drinking alone or even feeling guilty about drinking
- Hiding bottles of liquor, wine, or beer so that family or friends won’t see it.
- Drinking to escape emotions, problems, stress, or life in general.
- Feeling physically sick when you don’t drink
- Needing to drink more alcohol in order to feel the same effects alcohol once had on you
- Feeling uncomfortable if alcohol isn’t available when you go out with friends
- Feeling in a hurry to get in your first drink of the day
- Feeling guilty about drinking
- Regretting things you’ve done or said while drinking
- Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there while drinking
- Staying drunk for several days at a time
- Having relatives or family members that have problems with drinking
- Having your doctor tell you that you need to cut down on your drinking
- Feeling depressed or anxious after a long period of drinking or being drunk
These are clear signs that you or someone you know may have a problem with alcohol. Yet, if these signs still aren’t enough for you to determine whether you need to get help for yourself or for someone else, you might try the following online test. This test was put together by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and you can find it here:
If you do find that you need to get help for yourself or another, there may still be resistance in doing so. You may feel ambivalent or not sure how to get help. You might not want to be judged by friends or family members. Recognizing that you have a problem is an enormous and significant step. Getting help is just as important. However, you may find that you or your loved one is resistant to it.
If you’re in this place, the best step to take is to talk to someone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional, but talking to someone you trust (someone who doesn’t have a problem themselves), can at least get the process of getting help started.
And, of course, if you’re ready to contact a mental health professional, then do that! In the end, there is no substitute for getting professional help.