Alcohol abuse and physical dependence on alcohol are two very different things and there are certain signs to look for to tell you, are you an almost alcoholic?
If you are an almost alcoholic you probably have some of the signs of alcoholism but not all of them although this is a dangerous place to be because it can easily turn to into alcoholism. Although no one can tell you if you are almost an alcoholic these basic guidelines should help to see if you are an almost alcoholic or have moved into alcoholism. The main difference before we go any further between an almost alcoholic and someone with disease of alcoholism is the ability to stop once they start drinking and the physical dependence. If you are physically dependent on alcohol, meaning if you don’t drink you begin to get sick and experience withdrawal symptoms or you start drinking and go on benders for days sometimes even weeks than you have moved past the almost alcoholic stage and most likely need outside help for your alcoholism.
The best way to determine, are you an almost alcoholic is to tell you what would make you a full-blown alcoholic. If you don’t fit any or only some of this criteria than you most likely are an almost alcoholic and have not stepped over the invisible line into alcoholism. Although this is not a statement saying you should continue to drink but rather should seriously look at stopping before it gets too out of hand.
Signs of being an alcoholic:
- An increase in tolerance meaning you have to drink more to feel that “buzz”
- No longer drinking for social reasons but much rather to escape feelings, situations, or problems
- Physical dependence on alcohol as mentioned above
- Frequent blackouts, memory loss, hangovers etc.
- Negative consequences such as legal problems, missing work, missing school- this is a sign of alcoholism only if the drinking continues at the same rate despite these negative consequences
- Avoidance of family and friends because of extreme intoxication or shame and guilt.
- Thinking about drinking and obsessing over when and how you will get to drink again.
- Saying you aren’t going to drink yet you end up drinking anyways- this is the big one for determining if you are a full alcoholic or not. Most people who have moved beyond the stages of almost alcoholic cannot stop drinking even if they desire to do so regardless of physical dependency or not.
These are just a few common signs of full-blown alcoholism. Most of the time if you are an almost alcoholic some things may start to occur but then you stop drinking or cut back on your drinking because of the problems that are arising. If you find that you cannot stop despite some of these things then you are more than an almost alcoholic, you are dealing with the disease of alcoholism. If you need further help determining if you are addicted, take our “Am I Addicted?” quiz.
If you or someone you know needs drug or alcohol treatment call us at (877) 711-HOPE (4673) or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.