Am I an Alcoholic? Do I Have a Drinking Problem?
Most people know that alcohol abuse does not bode well: if you lose control, health and other problems are inevitable. Yet, few people think – if it drags on, you can die. For example, there are now about 17 million alcoholics in the United States, and this disease is the third preventable cause of death in the country.
Am I an Alcoholic?
Who is considered an alcoholic? How is alcoholism measured? Glasses? No. Alcohol dependence cannot be diagnosed by the amount of alcohol consumed. You can suspect dependence based on certain reactions of the body to alcohol and various unpleasant changes in life. What kind of reactions and changes? There is a whole list of criteria. Here are the most common reasons to worry or even go to the doctor. The more of these symptoms, the more difficult the situation.
- Alcohol makes it difficult for you to do what you should.
Due to alcohol, you miss a deadline, cancel meetings with family, forget to pick up your child from kindergarten, spend money that you put aside for an apartment, and then don’t know how to get out of a situation.
- You keep drinking no matter what.
Your loved one left you, because they can no longer tolerate the consequences of your relationship with alcohol. You were fired from your job. Your fingers are numb and your stomach hurts. Friends and family constantly start talking about your drinking problem, and it all ends in a scandal. Yet, you continue to drink alcohol.
- To get drunk you need more than before.
You have what is called an increase in alcohol tolerance.
- You drink almost every day, and if you don’t, you are physically ill.
If you do not have your drink, you experience withdrawal symptoms. In other words, you feel chills, you cannot sleep, you feel sick, you are anxious. If you drank in the evening, you have a hangover in the morning. However, this is not the kind of hangover that many people have without addiction: in fact, they develop intoxication, that is, alcohol poisoning; in such a situation, a glass of vodka will only make it worse. For people with alcohol addiction, a hangover will go away if they do drink.
- You drink more than you planned.
When you try to stop, you fail.
- You often think about alcohol and really want to drink.
Alternative ways to relax and unwind are not interesting to you.
It seems that some of the points are about me. Am I an alcoholic then? What to do? The best possible way to go if you suspect that you or someone else is an alcoholic is to seek help from experienced and knowledgeable specialists in this area. It might also be worth joining a group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Moderation Management, and SMART Recovery.
If you do not have an addiction, good, but that does not mean there is nothing to worry about. Why? Because at any moment a person can cross this line. Just imagine: a person leads an active life and uses alcohol only occasionally and does not cause any problems and then “bam” stress: coronavirus, quarantine, switching to remote work, schooling, etc. During times of intense stress, the person is likely to start using alcohol more frequently. It is very easy to cross this fine line and become an alcoholic.
Is it possible to quit alcohol on my own?
The insidiousness of alcohol is that it promotes self-deception. Often a person who drinks alcohol has a self-awareness that is built in such a way that they think that alcoholics are those who lie under the fence, get hungover, etc. “Am I an alcoholic? Of course, not!”, thinks the individual. “I not an alcoholic while I drink and do not a hangover, as long as I have no health problems…”. This self-deception is the main problem that makes the possibility of quitting drinking on your own very unlikely.
On the other hand, no one can help the person until they realize their drinking problem. They just need external support and those who can explain how they are lying to themselves and the negative consequences, who will help to objectively assess reality. Professionals, of course, have more experience and knowledge to do so effectively. At the same time, no one excluded the family and friends of the individual who should be able to answer “Who is considered an alcoholic?” so they can help in time.
How much can I drink and not worry about my health?
Recommendations can vary greatly from country to country. For example, according to American standards, a man can drink 28 grams of alcohol a day without harm to his health (almost 2 glasses of wine, or 2 bottles of beer or 2 glasses of vodka), a woman – half as much. The World Health Organization estimates that the norm is 20 grams of alcohol a day no more than five days a week. That is, a little more than a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or a glass of vodka per day.
Whether you are an alcoholic or you know someone who is an alcoholic, seek help right away! It is available everywhere and in various forms.
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