Many people fail to realize when they are addicted to alcohol, so if you ask yourself, “Am I an alcoholic’, or if you have continued to drink despite bearing its negative consequences, it is a sign that you are maybe addicted. Essentially, there is no set definition that can indicate someone’s alcohol addiction. Rather it depends on your possible drinking problem. chances are that you do have some issues happening if you are reading this. Similarly, people around you have constantly pointed out whether a person’s drinking causes them harm or distress, affecting their well-being and others around them.
There are, however, outward signs that can indicate when alcohol consumption has become unusually high. You may know some common signs, such as feeling distressed in the absence of alcohol, feeling guilty about how much you drink, or having difficulty controlling your drinking habits. While these are some of the more well-known symptoms of alcoholism, they are certainly not the only ones. To better answer the question “Do I have a drinking problem?” it is recommended to look out for the following behaviors:
- Drinking alcohol more or longer than what you intended. For example, if you promised to drink only a glass but ended up downing, 3. Or pouring yourself tall glasses of liquor than what is considered normal.
- Reaching for a drink earlier in the day.
- Paying more for alcohol than any other food items.
- Having more drunk days than sober days in a week.
- Wanting a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else.
- Having severe hangovers and sick days after consuming alcohol.
- Continued drinking despite feeling depressed, sick, or losing memory.
- Having withdrawal symptoms once the effects of alcohol wear off. This can include restlessness, trouble sleeping, and focusing, consistent nausea, blackouts, memory loss, heart palpations, and seizures.
- Becoming immune to the effects of alcoholor having to drink a lot more than usual to notice the same results.
- Giving up on hobbies and activities that were once dear and close to you to drink.
- Damaging relationships with family members and friends due to temper issues.
- Experiencing hallucinations, paranoia, or other symptoms of a mental health issue.
- Becoming more aggressive, violent, or short-tempered with close ones more than usual.
- Having slowed reaction times and trouble with motor coordination.
- Having a hard time walking or talking properly after a drinking episode.
- Taking risky and erratic decisions without paying much attention to the consequences. This could include drunk driving or indulging in dangerous stunts.
How to Recognize a Drinking Problem?
Alcohol addiction is perceived differently by different people, and alcohol addiction also varies depending on the individual. This can make it quite difficult to identify when somebody is overdoing it. Some people can drink only once a month and be considered an alcoholic, while others can drink every day but not have an alcohol addiction. The difference lies in the reasons one consumes alcohol, consumption frequency, and the impact of the consumption on their daily life. Paying attention to your drinking habits, frequency, and underlying reasons can help determine if you have a drinking problem.
- Drinking when worried. Drinking once in a while to alleviate your mood is fine. But if you grab a glass of alcohol every time you feel overwhelmed, it is probably a symptom of alcohol addiction. Make a conscious effort to deal with stress through more holistic measures, such as yoga, exercise, and meditation, rather than relying on alcohol.
- Drinking to help with your daily responsibilities. Whether it is your career, relationships, or other daily responsibilities, you should not be dependent on alcohol to get by your day and face life. If this becomes a pattern, the consequences could be dire.
- Using alcohol as a means to escape. Many people rely on alcohol to feel good whenever they are overwhelmed by the realities of life. They prioritize short-term pleasure over long-term negative effects because they believe that the pain caused by life is more than the harm caused by drinking. If you have a similar thought process, it is best to seek an addiction treatment program near you.
How to Prevent Excessive Drinking?
Overcoming a drinking problem can be a long and tedious road that may sometimes feel impossible. But it is not. With the right tools, support system, and professional help, you can recover from alcohol abuse regardless of how intense the problem may be or how helpless you feel. Deciding to reduce alcohol consumption or directly quitting it is often the first step. If you experience severe withdrawal symptoms, talk to a healthcare professional.
Once you have decided upon your goal, share it with family and members so they can offer their support and hold you accountable for your progress. Make sure to eliminate any temptations, such as alcohol, barware, or other triggers that might thwart your progress.
Keep a Record
Tracking your progress will allow you to see the days you failed and where you can compensate. For the first 3 to 4 weeks, write down every time you have a drink and the amount you consume. Whether you underperform or exceed your expectations, keeping a record will give you a better insight into your drinking problem and push you to do better.
Replace Alcohol with Healthier Alternatives
If you enjoy frequent cocktails, perhaps you can replace them with non-alcoholic mocktails that trick your brain into thinking you have alcohol. Whenever you get cravings, try to distract yourself with healthier habits such as running, meditation, or eating your favorite snack. If cutting out alcohol entirely is too difficult, start by cutting down for one whole week and gradually build your way up.
See a Professional
If you are a heavy drinker or having a miserable time cutting back by yourself, it is best to seek addiction treatment from a reputable rehabilitation center. Northstar Recovery Center is an addiction treatment facility in MA that aims to help addiction patients recover in a high-quality, comfortable, supportive environment. Working closely with an expert can help you set better goals, track progress and benefit from the right after-care that will prevent any relapses.
Partial Hospitalization Program in Southborough, MA
Our partial hospitalization program in Southborough, Massachusetts is the highest level of care we offer. This addiction treatment option includes clinical care and behavioral therapies. During the early days of recovery from addiction, it’s essential to have support for both the physical and emotional challenges you might face. Our team at Northstar Recovery Center in Massachusetts will help you build a strong foundation for lifelong recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Typically, clients come to our addiction treatment center each weekday for several hours of counseling sessions and other interventions as needed.
Intensive Outpatient Program in Southborough, MA
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Southborough, MA does not require 24/7 residency at a facility, but it demands more of your time than a regular outpatient program. It is ideal for those who need a higher level of care but are okay being at home. This way the individual can still live their life while getting counseling and support that is still needed in early recovery from substance use disorder.
Individual, Group, and Family Counseling in Massachusetts
Addiction thrives in isolation, which is why group counseling sessions are a foundational part of our addiction treatment plans. In group sessions, you’ll gain perspective on your struggles with substance abuse and can connect with others who understand your experiences. Family counseling can help your loved ones understand the disease of addiction, navigate conflict, and build healthier relationships. In individual counseling sessions, you’ll be able to work through personal issues like past trauma with the help of an experienced therapist.