Am I An Alcoholic Or Just A Casual Drinker?

Am I An Alcoholic Or Just A Casual Drinker?

Am I An Alcoholic Or Just A Casual Drinker?In the United States, and almost every other country, drinking alcohol is a common pastime. People go to bars with friends or to meet people. Couples drink wine on dates. Communities drink beer at get togethers. Drinking is an accepted aspect of most cultures.

Unfortunately, while alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation, millions of people around the world become addicted to drinking. More than 15 million Americans suffer from an alcohol use disorder of some sort.

Because drinking in moderation is so accepted, and because many people enjoy getting drunk somewhat regularly, it can be difficult to determine whether or not your drinking is a problem. Are you an alcoholic, or do you just get drunk a little too often? It’s a question you may not be able to answer all that easily.

To help you determine whether your alcohol use is problematic, these are the symptoms of alcoholism that should be red flags.

Internal Warning Signs

Although many addicts struggle with denial, there are usually some internal warning signs when you dig beneath the surface.

Ask yourself the following:

These are all signs that you believe you have a problem. It is possible that you feel guilt about your drinking because of associations from when you were growing up. However, it should encourage you to ask the relevant questions. If you’re actively trying to cut back, or are drinking even when you intended not to, then signs point to an alcohol use disorder. You may not be suffering from alcoholism just yet, but if you are unable to manage your drinking now, you will have even less control when the problem grows.

Social Warning Signs

Friends and family members can put you on the defensive by asking questions about your drinking. Your instinct may be to brush them off or react with anger. However, their questions should lead you to introspect on whether or not they have something to worry about.

Ask yourself:

Family and friends may not be the experts, but when you’re allowing tensions to creep into your relationships, and don’t want to change your drinking habits, there’s a good chance your drinking is becoming problematic, if it is not already.

Situational Warning Signs

People struggling with alcoholism often find themselves in situations which would not come about if not for their drinking.

Ask yourself:

While on vacation or in a safe environment, your drinking might not set off any warning signs. But when it affects your day-to-day life, it is easier to see that there is a problem.

Physical Symptoms

Alcoholism is both a physical and mental condition. Some of the most pressing signs that you have a problem are physical symptoms.

You may be experiencing the following:

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, your body is already somewhat dependent on alcohol. By continuing to drink, these symptoms will get worse, as your body needs more and more alcohol to get by. Eventually, the alcohol will start damaging your organs, leading to major health problems.

Alcoholism Quizzes or Tests

There are various quizzes or tests designed to help you decide whether or not you have a problem. Some are short and simple, while others are more detailed and accurate.

The CAGE Alcohol Assessment, for example, asks 4 questions. However, it is too simplistic to use for proper diagnoses. It ideally encourages people asking the question to seek a professional opinion.

The MAST Alcohol Assessment, on the other hand, has over 20 questions (in various versions). This makes it more difficult to administer briefly, but its results are more detailed and more conclusive. However, it has other diagnostic problems, as its long-term approach means it may not identify alcoholism in its early stages.

The AUDIT Alcohol Assessment was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has 10 questions. These questions ask in detail about how much you drink and what sort of consequences your drinking has had on your life.

There is no one test that is foolproof or that doesn’t have its flaws. But the fact that you are asking the question means that you have noticed some symptoms of alcoholism in yourself. At the very least, further introspection is urged.

If you find that you can identify multiple symptoms of alcoholism, you should seek help as soon as possible. The sooner you ask for help, the sooner your recovery can begin.

Alcoholism can be frightening, but the fact that you are questioning your drinking shows your intent to get better. Alcoholism can be treated successfully. Take the steps to get help and work towards getting your life back on track.