Am I an Alcoholic?
An “alcoholic,” or person suffering from alcoholism, is an individual who has a compelling need or desire to consume alcohol frequently even though it harms his/her health and routine life. These individuals simply do not know how and when to stop drinking, causing themselves and their loved ones severe problems and stress. However, you should know that enjoying a few glasses of wine or beer weekly will not be detrimental for you, nor will you become an “alcoholic” because of it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven or fewer drinks per week for women and 14 or fewer drinks per week for men falls within moderate drinking. If you can stick to this amount, you can hopefully stay away from the grips of alcoholism.
This weekly consumption estimate alone is not sufficient to find out if you are an alcoholic or are on the verge of becoming one. Following are a few signs and symptoms of alcoholism to help you figure out where you stand.
- Consumes alcohol in secret or alone.
- Consumes only a specific brand of alcohol regularly.
- Only goes to parties and gatherings that have alcohol.
- Is unable to control his/her alcohol consumption.
- Blacks out and is unable to account for a considerable amount of time.
- Loses interest in hobbies or pastimes that were of interest before.
- Gulps down the alcohol to feel good.
- Will need more alcohol as time passes to feel its effect.
- Has issues with finances, family, work, and the law.
- Feels nausea and excessive sweating /trembling when not drinking.
- Is easily irritable when he/she is unable to consume alcohol when the usual time approaches.
If you or your loved one is showing the above signs or symptoms, you may need to seek the help of a professional right away. However, you should also understand that some people might be experiencing the symptoms mentioned above but might not be addicted to alcohol. Nevertheless, you should consult a professional if you have concerns.
Alcohol Dependence Definition
Alcohol dependence, sometimes known as alcoholism, is a broad term that is used to describe the heavy consumption of alcohol that results in mental and health issues. For an individual with alcohol dependency, alcohol plays a significant role in his/her life, and they may face withdrawal symptoms and associated pain if they attempt to quit drinking. Alcohol dependence is not always linked to excessive levels of drinking, and you could be dependent on alcohol if you have the need or desire to share a few glasses of drinks with your spouse most nights of the weeks or if you need a glass of wine or beer to relax after a long day at work. This shows a distinct chain of alcohol dependence, which could be harmful for you in the long run.
When you become dependent on alcohol, you might find it very difficult to function, relax, or enjoy yourself without having a drink. This is a psychological dependency on alcohol, which could soon be followed by physical alcohol dependency. When you become physically dependent on alcohol, you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and nausea when you do not consume alcohol.
Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
Although alcohol abuse and alcoholism are often used interchangeably, they are two entirely different concepts. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV describes alcohol abuse as the desire of an individual to drink frequently despite the legal, physical, emotional, and social problems that result due to their alcohol use. On the other hand, while alcoholism implies the same as alcohol abuse, it also includes the different characteristics and symptoms that are addressed above under “alcoholism.”
Those who misuse alcohol are capable enough to limit their alcohol intake, unlike individuals with alcohol use disorders: however, their alcohol consumption is still harmful and dangerous to themselves and their loved ones. In most instances, it is easy to help alcohol abusers by intervening and educating them on the implications of alcohol poisoning and binge drinking. To do this, one should be aware of the fine line between alcohol abuse and alcoholism to seek help as needed.
Most practitioners will help you identify your condition: however, it will also be helpful if you know where you stand so that you can limit your alcohol intake and seek help simultaneously. A few signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:
- The individual tends to continuously neglect his/her responsibilities at work, home, or other places due to heavy and continual drinking.
- The individual consumes alcohol in places where it is physically dangerous for both themselves and those around them.
- The individual is in constant clash with authorities.
- The individual tends to consume drinks as a way of unwinding or relaxing.
These are few of the signs of alcohol abuse.If you experience these symptoms or notice them in your loved one, you should consider getting help. Contact us for more information on how to overcome this struggle.
Headquartered in New Jersey, Pinnacle Treatment Centers is a recognized leader in comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment serving more than 28,000 patients daily in California, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. With more than 110 community-based locations, Pinnacle provides a full continuum of quality care for adult men and women which includes medically-monitored detoxification/withdrawal management, inpatient/residential treatment, partial hospitalization/care, sober living, intensive and general outpatient programming, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. For more information, visit pinnacletreatment.com or call 800-782-1520.
Merrillville, IN 46410