For some people the definition of alcoholism is that they can't stop once I have the first drink. But since people love checklists, maybe you've spent some time wondering whether you or someone you know is an alcoholic. Here is another list of sings that yourself or someone you know may be.
You Drink to be “Normal” or “Fit In”
Do you feel like you need to drink alcohol to fit in, particularly when you’re meeting new people for the first time? If you don’t feel comfortable in social settings unless you have a drink in your hand, it can be an early warning sign of a potential problem. Worse, it could lead to an increase in your drinking over time; after all, nobody can avoid social situations for very long.
You shouldn’t need alcohol to feel a sense of normalcy. If you do, it can indicate that you are relying on alcohol as a mask for avoiding deeper issues. Therapy and treatment will go a long way towards helping you identify those issues and deal with them in healthier ways. You’ll need to make some lifestyle changes, but ultimately, you will reach a better, happier place after seeking help.
Do you drink with people you would be embarrassed to walk down the street with or introduce to your real friends?
Drinking to Cheer Up
If you rely on alcohol to boost your mood, this signifies an unhealthy dependence. A glass of champagne to toast a special occasion or a beer while you’re watching a sporting event is completely normal and acceptable, but using alcohol as a means to make you feel better when you’re not happy is a common warning sign of substance abuse.
It’s also important to keep in mind that any mood-enhancing effect alcohol may have is only temporary. It has actually been shown to increase your risk of both depression and anxiety, so turning to it as a solution for your woes will do much more harm than good. Also, alcohol intake doesn’t necessarily lead to an elevated mood; it can make you socially withdrawn, brooding, or prone to unusual or violent behavior. Simply put, you shouldn’t use it as a solution to other problems, for any reason.
External problems caused by drinking: Drinking alcohol in dangerous situations, such as while driving, can lead to problems with the law. Other problems like family, relationships, work, or financial might also arise due to excessive alcohol use.
Problems with Family Members as a Result of Drinking
If you’re having recurrent arguments with friends and family members in regards to your drinking habits, this may be a clear indication
Drinking in Secret or Lying About Your Alcohol Intake
If you feel the need to drink in secret or lie to family and friends about how much alcohol you consume, it’s safe to say there’s something wrong. You wouldn’t be lying about it if you thought it was normal, and if you’re doing this, it’s probably because you know deep down that you have a problem but aren’t yet willing to seek help. If you can’t talk truthfully about your alcohol issues, you should seek professional assistance to help you face your substance abuse problem.
Denial can be a very powerful thing, and it is a common element of the addiction syndrome. You might tell yourself that you’re hiding your drinking because you don’t want family and friends to worry about something that’s really no big deal, but if it weren’t a big deal, you wouldn’t have to hide it in the first place. Be honest with yourself. Your long-term health could depend on it.
You're drinking far more than everyone else and you're still standing up.
You could of course be part of a group of heavy drinkers-which might mean you all have something to consider! Your body is adapting to the presence of alcohol.
Trembling hands are one of the most common symptoms of alcohol abuse. If you’re experiencing shakiness in your hands after a day or night of drinking, it’s because the nerves in your body have been damaged due to excess alcohol intake. This will normally occur in people who regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol, and it’s a serious symptom that warrants professional attention and possibly rehabilitative therapy.
You may also experience trembling hands if you drink a lot, but suddenly stop drinking. This is a symptom of a condition known as “delirium tremens,” colloquially called “rum fits.” In short, if you have a physical dependence on alcohol, your body will shake if you don’t drink it. You’re most likely to notice this shaking in your hands, and it will inhibit your ability to carry out tasks requiring fine motor skills. For example, you may struggle to use a wrench or write something down with a pen.
You've rung in sick more then once, because you simply couldn't function.
You're finding it increasingly difficult to get yourself going in the morning.
When being challenged, you defend your drinking up to the hilt - 'of course you don't have an alcohol problem'... 'you can stop any time you like, you may even have stopped for a couple of months or so.' You might have had this kind of conversation with your partner, and you've done all you can to convince him/her that it's their problem and they're overreacting.
You've tried to quit Drinking but can't
Many of us have tried to quit, or at least cut back, on drinking at some point. If you’ve tried reducing the amount that you drink multiple times, or if you’ve tried to quit altogether and can’t seem to kick the habit, it may be an indication that you have a drinking problem. Once you become addicted, it’s difficult to control the amount of alcohol you take in every day. If you’ve tried to stop but simply can’t find it in you to quit having one or more drinks per day, it may be time for you to seek assistance from a professional.
Over time, alcohol creates a physical dependence. In other words, your body comes to rely on it and you will suffer potentially serious health problems if you go into withdrawal. Under extreme circumstances, this withdrawal can be life-threatening. Prevention is the best treatment for such eventualities.
Temporary Memory Loss and Blackouts
If you consume so much alcohol that you continually black out or can’t remember pieces of your night, it could indicate a drinking problem, especially if it happens on a regular basis. The inability to recall things that happen when you’re drinking is a result of grossly excessive blood-alcohol levels, which actually inhibit your brain from functioning normally. While this is still problematic if it only happens on occasion, it can be the sign of serious long-term problems if it occurs on an ongoing basis.
If you drink to the point of memory loss or blacking out, you should seriously consider seeking treatment. Alcoholism can cause permanent and irreversible brain damage, which affects both your cognitive performance and your memory. Drinking isn’t worth risking brain damage, and alcohol-triggered blackouts are no laughing matter, especially if you become prone to forgetting a large portion of your evening.
You look forward to drinking
You find yourself looking forward to that cocktail, glass of wine, or beer while you are on the way home after work. Or you find yourself glancing at your watch to see how close it is to Happy Hour.
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