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 / Alcohol / How Do I Know If I'm An Alcoholic?

How Do I Know If I’m An Alcoholic?

We can't ignore the health risks associated with alcoholism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new data showing a dramatic increase in alcohol-related mortality, from about 39,000 in 2019 to slightly over 49,000 in 2020, an increase of more than 25%. In 2021, there were more than 52,000 alcohol-related deaths, 34% more than before the pandemic.

Alcohol abuse may result in many problems that can impact your personal life, academic life, and career. Additionally, drinking regularly increases your risk of developing significant health issues and may have fatal consequences.

Who Is An Alcoholic?

An alcoholic is a person who is physically and mentally dependent on alcohol. A person often becomes an alcoholic when they abuse alcohol to the point that they get addicted to it. Today, the term "alcohol use disorder" (AUD) is the one that is used most often to refer to alcoholism.

Alcohol abuse is the deliberate overconsumption of alcohol, i.e., drinking till intoxicated. This could even include binge drinking at celebratory events. It is thought that excessive alcohol consumption is:

  • At least four drinks per drinking occasion for women.

  • At least five drinks per drinking occasion for men.

 

Here, one standard drink equals:

  • One 12-ounce bottle of beer, or

  • One 12-ounce bottle of wine, or

  • One 5-ounce glass of wine, or

  • 1.5 ounces of liquor

Alcohol use disorder (AUD), on the other hand, is a disease that causes:

  • A strong desire to consume alcohol.

  • Loss of control, i.e., the inability to stop drinking after you've begun.

  • Negative emotional state, i.e., feeling agitated and anxious if you could drink.

 

Sadly, society has stigmatized and assigned stereotypes to alcoholics. Because of this, the community believes that alcoholism exclusively affects weak-willed, illiterate, destitute, morally repugnant, or even have a particular skin complexion or cultural background.

Some avoid assistance because they wouldn't want to face social stigma, or perhaps they don't match this stereotype. They consider themselves "normal" people who can continue their daily lives despite heavy drinking.

Alcoholism is an illness that may harm anybody, including the young, beautiful, strong, wealthy, and educated, even though some traits that match the stereotype are just the risk factors of alcoholism.

Medically Reviewed:

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Rolling Hills Recovery Center

Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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Signs You've Become Alcoholic

As soon as you realize you've become dependent on alcohol, you should seek expert assistance immediately.

 

You may wonder whether your alcohol intake is still within acceptable ranges or has increased to dangerous levels. If so, the following are common red flags indicating you could be drinking too much and have developed an alcohol problem:

Physical Symptoms

People may develop an alcohol problem, just as they can develop an addiction to other types of drugs, and this can result in physically destructive and perhaps lethal addiction symptoms, such as:

Tolerance

If you've found that you require more alcohol than you did in the past to have the same effects, you've probably become tolerant to it and are thus an alcoholic.

Withdrawal

These are painful bodily side effects that come along with stopping the use of an addictive substance. If you notice any of the following after going without a drink, you may be an alcoholic:

  • Insomnia

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Sweating

  • Anger and mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Nausea

  • Carrying alcohol with you

  • Nausea

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Excessive alcohol cravings

 

Always in Possession of Alcohol

If you carry a drink with you to school, work, or any social function, you're probably an alcoholic.

Loss of Memory or Blackouts

If you forget what occurred while drunk, you may be an alcoholic.

Unable to Avoid Drinking After the First Drink

In this situation, you may get inebriated while not intending to.

Attempting to Limit or Regulate Your Drinking

If you often feel that you need to cut down or give up drinking, you may be an alcoholic.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers free 24/7 alcohol addiction support. Call today and confidentially speak with our addiction specialists at 855-559-8550.

Emotional Signs of Alcoholism

Your emotional health might suffer as a result of alcohol. Listed below are a few dynamic indicators of alcoholism:

  • Persistent thoughts of drinking.

  • Explaining your drinking to a friend or family member and providing justifications for it.

  • Fear of quitting alcohol use, e.g., refusing assistance because you cannot picture life without alcohol.

  • Denying the existence of an alcohol issue, i.e., blaming anything other than alcohol for your troubles.

  • Contrasting your drinking with that of those who are considerably worse than you.

  • Hoping you'll be able to manage your alcohol consumption someday.

  • Using alcohol to deal with unpleasant feelings such as stress, pain, and frustration.

  • Drinking to accomplish anything, such as starting the day, having sex, socializing, etc.

  • Drinking in secret or lying about it, i.e., misleading others about your drinking.

  • Embarrassment or remorse about your excessive drinking.

  • Regrets or humiliations from actions you took while drinking.

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Social Signs of Alcoholism

A user's habits, mannerisms, and appearance can change due to drinking and AUD. The following are some of the most prevalent social signs and symptoms that indicate that you have an alcohol problem:

Decreasing The Time, You Spend On The Things You Value Most In Favor Of Drinking

To maintain their alcoholism, someone suffering from an alcohol use disorder may have to put their passions, ambitions, or other pursuits on hold. It's not uncommon for alcohol to take precedence over loved ones and things you care about most. Some people even begin to associate with a new group of friends.

The Trouble with Health, Family, Work, or School

When it comes to relationships with their spouse and children, the average alcoholic will have difficulty. Their doctor has likely advised them to reduce or stop drinking several times, but they have disregarded the advice.

Legal Issues

You are unquestionably an alcoholic if you have been arrested several times for drunk driving or disruptive conduct while intoxicated.

Your Family and Friends Claim you Drink too Much

If your loved ones are constantly bugging you about your alcoholism, you probably suffer from AUD.

An Inability to Function Normally Without Alcohol

If you discover that you need that extra bottle of beer to get you through the day, then it's safe to say that you have an alcohol use disorder and need treatment.

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You do not have to be a heavy drinker to stop drinking. Quitting drinking is usually as simple as realizing that you need help. If you are smart enough to see how alcohol affects your health, it is undoubtedly feasible to cut alcohol out of your life.

 

When stopping alcohol, you must be very cautious because of the dangers of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The most comfortable and safest approach to quitting drinking is to undergo medical detox followed by behavioral counseling at a reputable drug treatment facility. Please get in contact with us right away if you are looking for professional alcohol treatment services.

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Emotional signs of alcoholism
Who is an alcoholic?
Signs you've become an alcoholic
Social signs of alcoholism
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