am i an alcoholic?

11 Questions to Assess If Your Drinking Has Become an Addiction

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Americans are now drinking more than ever. The Rose-all-day marketing movement, the multiple beers while watching the big games, and the pre-parties to handle the actual holiday party—these things certainly add to the frenzy during the holidays. In fact, heavy drinking seems to be everywhere. Wherever people were gathered at the turn of the year, there was also booze. But as the holidays come to a close, it’s a good idea to take a minute and think a few things over. Set some goals or simply take stalk of the actions of the past 12 months.

There are certainly people who drink responsibly and make the most of the holidays. And then there are those who might be going a little far with their imbibing habits. The binging, the hangovers, the drunken outbursts at the family functions, these things all might point to a deeper problem.

Alcoholism Is Normalized

The difficulty with alcohol use disorder is that it seems like a blurry line. Do I have an addiction? Or do I just like to have a lot of fun? Because heavy drinking, even problem drinking, have become fairly normalized in our society, many people don’t know they have a problem. They look around and see friends, TV shows, rock stars, all kinds of different people and arenas, and they see people who are acting like them.

Of course, alcohol is a powerful substance. And the reality is that there are a large number of people who struggle with addiction, and they might not even realize it. Or they suspect they might have an addiction, but are not sure. They might even be hesitant to ask the questions.

Am I an Alcoholic? 11 Questions to Ask Yourself for Assessment

If you or someone you care about fall into that category—the “not sure” one—here are 10 questions to ask yourself. This list has been compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It is not intended to be an official diagnosis but can be useful in helping you understand where you stand before the real problem of alcohol use disorder.

In the past year, have you or a loved one:

  1. Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?
  2. More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  3. Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
  4. Experienced craving—a strong need, or urge, to drink?
  5. Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
  6. Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
  7. Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  8. More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
  9. Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
  10. Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
  11. Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?

Symptoms of a Problem

If you or your loved one have experienced any of these symptoms, it’s time to call First Steps Recovery. We are a detox and residential treatment center in Fresno County, California. There could be an alcohol use disorder at play here, and now is the time to get an official assessment. If you need help, have any questions, or need assistance understanding these symptoms, please call us today. Our addiction specialists are ready to help you take the first step towards full recovery: 1-844-489-0836.

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