It’s hard to admit that you may have a problem with alcohol—it can be quite an easy thing to cover up for an extended period of time. In the United States, about 14 million adults have problems with alcohol abuse, with around 8.1 million people being classified as alcoholics.
But how do you know when enough is enough? Luckily, there are plenty of tell-tale signs that will show you when it’s time to get help.
1) You Think You Might Have A Drinking Problem
Typically, if you think you have a problem, that’s usually a good indicator there is a problem. Maybe you’ve fallen asleep with an empty wine bottle a few times or woken up with the shakes that can only be stopped by an early morning drink. If your mind is ringing alarm bells and you’re worried you might be pushing it, then you’re already aware you have a problem.
2) You’ve Lied About Your Drinking
It’s easy to think that it’s nobody else’s business, but if you feel you have to lie, then deep down you know there’s a problem. If you have lied on more than one occasion, or you’re lying about when or how much you consume alcohol, then this needs to be addressed. There is an incredible amount of freedom to be had in opening up and being honest about your drinking problem.
3) You’re Drinking Alone
It can start off as a glass of wine after dinner and progress to a bottle. It can be “just a few” while you watch the game on tv. Whatever the habit, though, if your drinking has progressed to you regularly drinking alone, it isn’t healthy and it could be the sign of a larger and underlying problem.
4) Loved Ones Have Mentioned Their Concern
If someone in your life has mentioned they’re worried about your relationship with alcohol, they may be drawing attention to something that you’re not aware of. It’s a hard topic to raise for most people and they’ll only do so because they have your best interests at heart. Listen with an open mind and take the fact that they care to heart—your loved ones don’t want to see you hurting or messing up.
5) You Have Tried to Quit
If it’s crossed your mind that you’re drinking too much for too long, you’ve probably tried to reduce the amount you drink or quit altogether. Unfortunately, when you use a substance for a long time, your body becomes dependent on it.
When your body is physically dependent on a substance, it won’t let you quit; in fact, it needs it to function, making it so that when you try to quit, you end up feeling sick. You may feel like you have no choice, but continuing to drink is actually feeding the addiction and making it worse. It’s best to get help now before you damage your body any further.
6) You’re Using Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism
Many people use alcohol to self-medicate during times of stress. Using alcohol to cope with things creates a horrible pattern—you feel better after a drink or two, reinforcing the belief that it’s helping. Soon, though, you’ll end up drinking more and more, until it eventually becomes the problem.
The best thing to do is to work through your problems in a logical manner and seek help for whatever ails you. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; talking to someone about your problems can be the best thing for you.
7) You’re Having Problems at Work, School, or Home
If you or other people have noticed that your performance has gone down, then this is a good indicator that your drinking is a problem. Drinking will affect your ability to think clearly—it will disrupt your sleep and cause you to easily lose focus. If you aren’t doing your job right, your grades are slipping or you’re snappy with your children, then it’s a good indicator that your drinking habits might be getting out of hand.
8) You’ve Operated a Vehicle While Intoxicated
Even if it wasn’t on the main road, operating any vehicle while under the influence is incredibly dangerous and illegal. It’s dangerous to yourself and others, no matter how in control you believe to be (intoxication will make you believe that you’re fine). If you’re too drunk to distinguish whether or not this is a good idea, then you’re too drunk to operate a vehicle.
9) You Have Harmed Yourself or Someone Else While Intoxicated
Alcohol affects your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. It can increase suicidal thoughts or violent tendencies. You may not be trying to hurt someone, but when you’re intoxicated you may become more violent and you may end up harming yourself or a loved one. Your safety or the safety of those closest to you can be put in jeopardy.
Get Help from a Rehab Center
If alcohol is causing problems in your life, then you need to get help. Some people think that rehab is the last straw, but it’s the first step in the right direction.
If you feel nauseous, get cramps, headaches, or can’t sleep, and you notice that your life feels like it’s beginning to crumble, then you need help. Going to rehab will help you through the withdrawal and help you stay sober to avoid it altogether.
Unfortunately, less than 1% of Americans seek help for addiction issues. Every day, though, places like the Norman Rehab Center are available to help those in need, pushing through and fighting alcohol addiction head on. If you feel that you’re drinking is getting out of control, talk to your doctor about the best way for you to get sober and live a happy and healthy life.