The Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse
An alcoholic can only be someone who has had a DUI, been arrested for public intoxication, stolen money to buy alcohol, is homeless, or jobless, right?
While these are all certainly the more severe signs of an alcohol addiction, they’re far from the only ones. Despite what you may think, determining if someone, or even yourself, has a drinking problem isn’t always obvious. Many people who suffer from alcohol addiction are respected members of the community, businesspeople, or students. In fact, this has become so common that there’s actually a term for it — “high-functioning alcoholics.”
If you’re concerned about your (or a friend’s) drinking, take a look at the most common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse or dependence, below.
Hiding your drinking.
Shame or denial is a common trait among people who struggle with substance abuse. Often times, alcoholics know that they shouldn’t be drinking in certain situations, so they hide or sneak alcohol.
“Blacking out” regularly.
When you drink so much that you can’t remember certain moments from the night before, it’s referred to as blacking out. If you notice that this is happening to yourself (or someone you love) often, you need to ask the question — “Why do I feel the need to drink so much?”
Being unable to stop once you start.
Do you always finish a bottle of wine once it’s opened? Do you always finish a six-pack of beer? Feeling the need to finish all of the alcohol around you is another common sign of alcohol dependence.
Needing to drink more to achieve the same “buzz.”
If you notice that you’re able to drink more than usual or that you have to drink more to receive the same “buzzed” feeling, it’s a sign that your tolerance has gone up. Essentially, your body is exposed to alcohol so regularly that your body has begun adapting to it.
Drinking when you shouldn’t be.
Before work, while driving, or at school — these, along with many other situations, are times when you should not be drinking at all.
Drinking when you don’t intend to.
Have you ever shown up to a party without the intent to have anything to drink, but a few hours later you’ve had several drinks? Not being able to say “no” to a drink when it’s offered to you is another clear sign of addiction.
Using alcohol to cope with stress.
Alcohol is often tied to situations. When it’s someone’s birthday, wedding, or anniversary, it’s common to have a drink or two. But it’s once you start having a few drinks in response to more negative events, like an argument, or stresses, like an upcoming deadline at work, that it becomes a problem. And despite what many believe, alcohol is actually a depressant drug, meaning it will only make tough situations worse.
Though the signs and symptoms of alcohol vary from person-to-person, these are a few of the most common warning signs that you have an alcohol addiction or are in danger of becoming addicted.
Whether you just have questions about your alcohol or drug use, or would like help with quitting altogether, our Providers here at CCC offer a variety of in-house counseling services.