Am I an Alcoholic? Simple signs to understanding addiction
By Jenny Hunt, Palm Partners Recovery Center
Many people who drink alcohol frequently ask themselves at some point “Am I an Alcoholic?” This is a question that only you can answer. There are some simple signs to understanding addiction and determining if you are an alcoholic.
1.) Does your drinking cause problems in your life? Problems caused by drinking can often be a sign of alcoholism. These problems can be legal, financial, moral, or spiritual. Problem drinking can cause discord between yourself and your loved ones. It can cause emotional instability. If drinking is causing problems in your life and you continue to drink anyway, this could be a sign of addiction.
2.) Do you make promises to yourself or others about drinking and then break them? Many alcoholics make themselves and others many promises about controlling their drinking. You may promise yourself you won’t have as many drinks when you go out this time or will stop drinking on the weekdays. You could make promises to your family that you will stop coming home drunk. Inevitably, you break these promises.
3.) Do you lie or try to hide the amount of alcohol you consume? Often an alcoholic will try to hide the amount of alcohol they consume in a given time period. They accomplish that by lying to people when they ask or hiding the evidence of drinking. This is a sign of addiction.
4.) Do you avoid social situations that don’t involve alcohol? Avoiding social situations that do not involve alcohol is common with alcoholics. Often, people who are alcoholic are unable to enjoy themselves without drinking. Many alcoholics will surround themselves with people who drink as much as they do so they can justify their drinking.
5.) Do you have a high tolerance for alcohol? One sign of addiction is the development of “tolerance” to alcohol. Alcoholics often find that, over time, they need to drink more and more to have the same effect.
6.) Do you ever use alcohol first thing in the morning to get rid of hangover symptoms or avoid the shakes? Sometimes people who are alcoholic or problem drinkers will reach a point where they will experience withdrawal symptoms when they don’t have alcohol in their body. Drinking more alcohol or taking other drugs to combat these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms is a sign of addiction.
7.) Have you ever hurt someone while drinking? Some alcoholics will lash out while drinking and hurt someone physically. Other times, alcoholics will unintentionally hurt someone while under the influence by driving drunk or being negligent.
8.) Have you ever “blacked out” or forgotten things you did while you were drunk? Binge drinking alcohol (consuming more than 4 drinks for women, and 5 for men in a single time sitting) can cause memory loss similar to amnesia. These periods of alcohol-related amnesia are generally referred to as blackouts.
9.) Do you find it difficult to have just one or two drinks? Alcoholics often experience a loss of control while drinking and find it difficult to stop drinking once they have started. The inability to stop drinking is a very common sign of addiction.
10.) Have you ever been drunk in an inappropriate setting? If you have ever consumed alcohol in an inappropriate setting like work, school, or while driving, you may be an alcoholic.
If you answered yes to one or more of these simple signs to understanding addiction, you may be an alcoholic.
If you or someone you know is an alcoholic, call us at (877) 711-HOPE (4673) or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.