Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

Sad man drinking alcohol

Dane O'Leary February 15, 2021

Sad man drinking alcohol

Dane O'Leary
Feb 15, 2021    4 min read

It's always better to know.

Countless people turn to alcohol (or other mind-altering substances) when they want to blow off some steam. In all fairness, society has basically taught us that this is a perfectly acceptable way to use alcohol, practically a rite of passage to adulthood. But this has led many to overlook (or outright deny) many of the warning signs of a drinking problem until they can avoid the problem no longer. And, finally, they ask themselves... Do I have a drinking problem?

Before you can recognize a drinking problem in yourself or a loved one, you need to understand alcohol use disorder and the warning signs of a drinking problem, which can vary from person to person.

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder is a complex medical condition typically diagnosed when a person’s drinking becomes harmful and uncontrollable. 

You can’t go to a doctor and take a test that confirms an alcohol use disorder. There is no amount of alcohol or frequency of drinking that indicates a problem. Alcohol use disorder is diagnosed by identifying behaviors, tendencies, and physical and emotional signs of alcoholism.

It can be difficult to recognize signs of a drinking problem because you probably don’t picture yourself or a loved one when you think of an alcoholic. Stereotypes don't really apply to alcohol because people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds can (and do) struggle with addiction to alcohol.

Also, it’s not uncommon for people to ignore, deny, or fail to see signs of alcoholism in themselves. They need a loved one or doctor, or both, to prove to them that an alcohol use disorder exists by laying out the signs of alcoholism.

Stereotypes don't apply to alcohol because people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds can (and do) struggle with addiction to alcohol.

12 Signs of a Drinking Problem

Generally speaking, alcohol use disorder is diagnosed when two or more signs of a drinking problem are accurate and have occurred in the past 12 months. The disorder can be mild or severe.

  1. Drinking has interfered with your obligations at work, home, or school.
    Similarly, you’re not as interested in activities that you once considered important or enjoyable because you’d rather drink.
  2. Personal and professional relationships are suffering because of drinking.
  3. You notice alcohol cravings at odd times. 
    For instance, the desire to have a drink when you first wake up in the morning.
  4. Drinking causes you to feel depressed, anxious, or irritated, or makes another health condition work.
  5. You drink alone or try to hide your drinking from others.
  6. You remember multiple times when you drank more than you had planned.
    For example, you went for “a beer” after work and stayed until closing, or you wanted to have a glass of wine after dinner and ended up finishing the bottle.
  7. During or after drinking, you’ve done things that put you and/or others at risk.
    For example, driving, swimming, entering a dangerous environment, using drugs, gambling, or having unsafe sex.
  8. Risky behavior has led to injuries, legal issues, or financial problems.
  9. After the effects of alcohol have worn off, you have trouble sleeping, feel shaky or restless, experience nausea or sweating, or notice your heart racing.
    These are examples of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  10. You frequently have an inner debate about whether you have a drinking problem and what life would be like if you stopped drinking.
  11. You feel guilty about drinking and recognize that it's causing problems in your life yet you continue to drink.
  12. You’ve tried to quit drinking or reduce your alcohol consumption, but you weren’t successful.

Return to a Happy, Fulfilling Life at Silicon Beach Treatment Center

Much like how the signs of a drinking problem vary from person to person, a treatment plan should be tailored to the severity of someone's alcohol use disorder and how alcohol has affected his or her life. That's where we come in.

Silicon Beach Treatment Center is your destination for substance abuse and mental health recovery. Through comprehensive care, world-class mental health support, and our use of the latest therapeutic techniques, our team of professional clinicians can help you (or your loved one) heal from the debilitating effects of addiction.

To learn more about our programs, contact Silicon Beach Treatment Center today.

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