“Am I becoming an alcoholic?” How often do you ask yourself this question? Sometimes? One too many times? Maybe you only drink at night, or maybe you only drink wine and no liquor so — you can’t be an alcoholic, right?
Well, unfortunately this is not the case. Alcoholism can take several forms, and the stereotype portrayed on TV is not always applicable. So how can you tell if you are becoming an alcoholic?
What Is Considered Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is also known as alcohol addiction or alcohol dependence, where someone has a compulsion to drink alcohol. It is slightly different from alcohol abuse or harmful drinking, which has to do with behavior patterns where someone drinks to extreme levels despite the adverse effects.
Alcoholism, on the other hand, is a form of alcohol abuse where an individual is unable to manage their drinking habit so that they feel they can’t function well without alcohol. Alcohol abuse can spiral out of control and may develop into alcoholism.
When you drink excessively, your body gradually becomes dependent on alcohol. According to the National Institute of Health, about 17 million adults (18 and above) have some sort of drinking problem.
Signs You Are an Alcoholic
Are you worried you may be an alcoholic? The following is a list of common signs of alcoholism or a developing alcohol dependence (please note this isn’t a comprehensive list):
- Drinking in secrecy or hiding how much you drink
- Alcohol cravings
- Feeling the need to drink in the morning
- Unable to control alcohol consumption
- Putting alcohol over personal responsibilities and relationships
- Buying excessive amounts of alcohol regardless of the financial implications
- Continue to drink despite health problems
- Trying to cut back on drinking but finding it difficult
- Quitting other activities to drink
- Unable to control your behavior after drinking
- Having school troubles, job troubles, relationship problems due to alcohol
- Getting into harmful situations after drinking alcohol, like drunk driving, unsafe sex, swimming, and fighting.
- Continually increasing the usual quantity of alcohol you take to get the desired effect
- Withdrawal symptoms when you aren’t drinking, like nausea, hallucination, sweating, restlessness, depression, or insomnia.
Getting Treatment for Alcoholism
If you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol, and you think it’s affecting their lives, it is crucial to seek professional help. If you are unsure you have a drinking problem or a physical dependence, always consult your physician for more information.
Treatment for alcoholism can vary, the most common treatments being:
Detoxification is for people with severe alcohol addiction; this is a crucial first step towards recovery. The aim is to quit drinking and allow your body time to get the alcohol out of your system safely. Alcohol withdrawal can cause serious health complications so please never try to detox alone.
Psychotherapy or Counseling
Psychotherapy or counseling address emotional problems causing you to drink. These types of therapy are incorporated in inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment. Also, a therapist will help you deal with behavior and triggers that make you want to drink.
Peer Led Support Groups
There are also support groups and programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, Smart Recovery, and Narcotics Anonymous to help people through their recovery path. These support groups are often peer led, are free to join, and are available multiple times throughout the day, 7 days a week. Support groups are offered during addiction treatment and can easily be continued after treatment.
Anchored Tides Recovery Is Here for You
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, then the answer to this question, “am I becoming an alcoholic?” is possibly yes. Identifying and accepting an alcohol problem is the first step to recovery from addiction.
At Anchored Tides Recovery, we help women living with alcohol addiction problems and mental health issues. Our goal is for women to live healthily and access long-term recovery treatments by offering a unique treatment center with professional staff and enhanced treatment options designed by women for women.
Reach out to us today to begin your journey to recovery!