7 Signs You Are Addicted to Alcohol
Most people can handle moderate alcohol consumption without developing a problem. Many cannot. An estimated 32 million Americans—more than 10% of America’s population—are addicted to alcohol.
A little self-evaluation can suggest it’s time for you to seek an addiction treatment professional for a formal diagnosis and treatment plan.
Is your alcohol consumption developing into a life-threatening addiction? Here are 7 signs to look for—and if you’re seeing these signs in your life, it’s time to get help.
1) Increased Tolerance
A clear sign of alcoholism is developing an increased tolerance, or the ability to consume increasing amounts of alcohol without feeling the effects. High tolerance or being able to drink more than you used to (or need to drink more than you did before in order to get drunk), means your body is exposed to alcohol regularly enough that it has adapted to cope with it better. This is a sign that you are drinking too much. It’s an indicator—you should seek treatment.
2) Inability to Control Consumption
Another clear sign you have a problem is telling yourself that you’re not going to drink or only planning one or two drinks but then drinking despite these promises. Alcohol should not be consumed at particular times or settings (before school or work, before driving, when taking certain medications, etc.). Every time you do something like this you run the risk of serious consequences. Regularly taking those risks strongly implies that alcohol is the main priority in your life. If you are unable to refrain from drinking when you know you should not drink, that lack of control says you need help.
3) Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal is different from a hangover; it’s the reaction to the lack of alcohol rather than too much alcohol. If you start to feel irritable, tired, depressed, nauseous or anxious when you haven’t had a drink, there’s a possibility you’re going through withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually start within five to ten hours after the last drink has been consumed and can last for days afterwards. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. You should seek a detox venter to help you safely through the process.
4) Neglecting Responsibilities
Failing at school, losing your job, neglecting your children, and failing to meet your commitments are all clear signs that you have a problem with alcohol. Alcoholics are unable to maintain their daily lives as they abandon the chores and tasks necessary to keep their homes well maintained and their bills paid, affecting their credit scores and quality of life. The same is true at work—your work responsibilities suffer. While taking time off for treatment is not convenient to anyone’s life or career, the resulting sobriety and improved performance and productivity will more than make up for the lost time spent at an alcohol rehab center.
5) Legal Problems
Getting arrested for driving under the influence is a clear indicator that your alcohol use is a problem, but driving is not the only alcohol-related legal problem that indicates a need for treatment. You can have problems with law enforcement when you’re drunk due to impaired judgment. Fighting, violent outbursts, stealing to support the addiction, attempting risky and harmful activities—these are all clear signs. If you’re facing fines, jail time or other lost personal freedoms, it’s a cry for help. Get help!
6) Destroying Personal Relationships
Alcoholism ruins marriages and can rip families apart. Damaged personal relationships are signs you cannot ignore. If your loved ones can’t trust in you or resent you for neglectful, violent, or abusive behavior, it’s time to seek help. Children raised by alcoholic parents are at a higher risk of growing up to be alcoholics themselves, neglecting their own children due to drinking. Alcoholism often transfers from one generation to the next. A treatment center can help you break the cycle as you learn to live sober, happy, and free.
7) Experiencing Blackouts
Drinking so much that you have no memory of what happened is another red flag for a problem with alcohol. Simply put, it means you drank way too much. In these blackout sessions, you’re capable of causing harm to yourself and others due to severely impaired judgment. If you experience a blackout due to your drinking, it’s time to look into treatment.
If you recognize these signs in yourself or someone you love, we can help. Recognizing you need help is a vitally important first step.
At Honey Lake Clinic, we believe faith-based treatment, encompassing your spiritual, physical and mental health, will provide you with the long-lasting tools and knowledge you need to break alcohol’s grip.