How do you know when your drinking has become a problem? Just because you still have a job, are in a steady relationship or maintain a clean driving record doesn’t mean that you don’t have a problem with alcohol. It simply means that your drinking hasn’t progressed into those areas of your life – at least yet. If you continue drinking at the rate that you are, alcohol will become more and more of an issue. You owe it to yourself to be honest about what’s going on and whether or not you need treatment.
Here are seven signs that you may be an alcoholic.
(This information is not to be taken as medical advice. If you feel that you or someone you love has an alcohol problem, please consult with a health professional for a complete diagnosis.)
1. Memory Loss
If you regularly go out drinking and don’t remember what happened the night before, you may have a drinking problem. Blackouts regularly occur with alcoholics and can put you at risk for dangerous behavior.
One of the main issues in any addiction is denial. If other people are concerned with your drinking but you continue to deny there is an issue, you may want to reassess your thinking. Is there a possibility that your friends and family could be right?
How prevalent is alcohol in your life? Do you spend time thinking about your next drink, looking forward to outings with alcohol and hanging out with friends who are heavy drinkers? Alcoholics tend to arrange their schedules around drinking, and make alcohol prevalent in their day-to-day lives.
Do you use alcohol to cope? Alcoholics tend to have trouble coping without a drink in their hand. If you find yourself reaching for a drink anytime you are stressed or anxious, you may have a problem.
5. Mood Swings
Any addiction is going to have an impact on your moods. That’s because your brain is going through a lot of changes and starting to become fixated on alcohol. If you don’t have it, you can become irritable and withdrawn. Does this sound familiar?
6. Greater Tolerance
Are you able to handle a lot more liquor than you once were? Alcoholics generally have a high tolerance before they start showing signs of intoxication. If you find yourself being able to handle more and more, don’t take this as a sign of pride. This means you’re drinking too much.
7. Broken Promises
Do you find yourself making promises (“I’m never going to drink again!”) that you don’t keep? Let’s say that you keep waking up with terrible hangovers and then promise yourself that you’re going to take a step back. But you don’t. This is a sign that you are losing control. If you can’t stick to your promises now, imagine how alcohol may affect your job, relationships, finances, etc?
If you are concerned that you or a loved one has a negative relationship with alcohol, please call The River Source. We can provide you with a confidential assessment and arrange for transportation to our treatment center. Admitting you have a problem and accepting help is the first step to stopping the cycle of abuse.