Millions of people drink alcohol casually without a problem. They drink responsibly and keep their alcohol consumption in the proper perspective.
For many others, however, they develop an addiction and their drinking habits soon pervade every aspect of their lives, affecting how they function and interact with others.
While loved ones may want to help, it’s up to the addict to recognize there is a problem. This means knowing the warning signs of alcoholism and being able to recognize them in one’s own life. Here are five signs you may need to seek treatment for alcohol addiction.
1. You Are Making Poor Decisions and Engaging in Destructive Behavior
We all know that drinking alcohol inhibits one’s judgment and this is especially true for those suffering from alcoholism. When you’re spending the majority of your time either drinking alcohol or thinking about drinking alcohol, your priorities and your judgment become compromised.
This may cause you to drink alcohol, when you’re doing other things, such as drinking at work. Deep down, you know it’s wrong, but you tell yourself it will be just this one time or it won’t be very often. However, once you do it, it becomes easier to do it again and again.
2. You Lose Relationships
This can start with one or two close friendships and, usually, those relationships are compromised, when those friends confront you about your drinking habits. You may get angry and the discussion may soon turn into a conflict, causing hurt feelings and a divide in those friendships.
You may also be spending less time with family, because it takes away from your drinking time. When you’d rather be drinking than spending time with your children and spouse, it may be time to admit there’s a problem.
If this cycle continues, you may soon be spending the majority of your time alone. You’ll be drinking alone, as well. If you often drink alone, this is a red flag that you have a problem.
3. Are You Being Dishonest?
Feeling the need to hide your drinking is another indication that your alcohol consumption has become a problem. You may already know it’s an addiction, if you feel the need to lie about your drinking habits or practices. When you don’t feel as though your drinking is out of control, you won’t feel the need to lie about it.
Alternatively, you may try to deceive yourself by making up reasons to drink. For instance, telling yourself you deserve to get drunk, because you made it through a rough day. Celebrating the winning of a game or competition with a bottle of whiskey runs along those same lines. Once you begin doing this, you’ll continue finding reasons to drink.
4. You May Be Experiencing Memory Loss
There are two types of memory loss that you may experience, when you’ve developed alcoholism. First, you may develop temporary amnesia from a single night of drinking, which is a sure sign that you drank too much.
Secondly, more permanent forms of amnesia can develop as a symptom of prolonged alcohol abuse. In either case, memory loss is your brain’s way of telling you that there’s a problem and that it’s time to seek help.
5. You’re Drinking More
Alcohol, like any drug, creates a chemical reaction in the brain, which produces the intoxicated sensation that makes you feel good. As you continue drinking, your brain builds up a tolerance to the amount of alcohol you normally drink, so you’ll have to drink more alcohol just to achieve that same level of intoxication.
This can lead to another indication that you have an addiction to alcohol and that is to drink more than you plan or intend. A person who suffers from alcoholism will continue to drink until they physically can’t drink anymore. Even if they do set a limit for themselves, they won’t be able to abide by that limit and will continue drinking.
If these signs of alcoholism sound familiar to you, it may be time for you to admit you have a drinking problem. Admitting that you suffer from alcohol addiction is the hardest part, but, once you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to getting help.
While admitting the problem is something you have to do on your own, you’ll be aided in the actual recovery process by your loved ones and trained professionals.
My husband was an alcoholic before 3 years. He used to lie every I time I caught him with a drink or seeing him drunk. Our marriage had hit the rocks and I was worried about my kids and their future. Today, we all live happily, as my husband has once again become sober. Your article is good and helpful to many people. Thanks for sharing.