When it comes to drinking, moderation is key. But for some people, moderation is not possible.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can sneak up on you, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of drinking problems.
1. Drinking to Excess
If you find that you’re drinking more alcohol than you used to, it could be a sign that you’re developing a problem. Excessive drinking is defined as more than four drinks in a single day for men, or more than three drinks in a day for women. If you find that you’re regularly exceeding these limits, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your relationship with alcohol.
2. Drinking in Secret
If you’re hiding your drinking from others, it’s a sign that you know it’s a problem. This is because we generally only feel the need to keep our drinking habits a secret if we know they’re not socially acceptable.
3. Drinking despite Negative Consequences
If you’re continuing to drink despite the negative consequences it’s having on your life, it’s a sign that you have a problem. For example, if you’re missing work or school because of hangovers, or if you’re getting into arguments with loved ones because of your drinking, it’s time to seek help.
4. Feeling Unable to Cut Down
If you’ve tried to cut down on your drinking but haven’t been able to, it’s a sign that you may have a problem. This is because people who can control their drinking generally don’t have trouble cutting down when they want to.
5. Making Excuses for Your Drinking
If you find yourself making excuses for your drinking, it’s a sign that you may have a problem. For example, you may tell yourself that you need to drink to relax or to socialize. Or you may convince yourself that you can handle your drinking, even though it’s causing problems in your life.
6. Feeling Guilty or Ashamed about Your Drinking
If you feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking, it’s a sign that you know your drinking is a problem. This is because people who don’t have a problem with drinking generally don’t feel guilty or ashamed about it.
7. Blacking Out or Forgetting What You Did While You Were Drinking
If you’re blacking out or forgetting what you did while you were drinking, it’s a sign that your drinking is out of control. This is because people who can control their drinking generally don’t black out or forget what they did while they were drinking.
8. Experiencing Financial Problems Because of Your Drinking
If your drinking is causing financial problems, it’s a sign that it’s out of control. For example, you may be spending too much money on alcohol, or you may be missing work because of hangovers.
9. Having Relationship Problems Because of Your Drinking
If your drinking is causing problems in your relationships, it’s a sign that it’s out of control. For example, you may argue with your partner or family about your drinking. Or you may be neglecting your friends or hobbies because of drinking.
10. Drinking despite Health Problems
If you’re drinking despite having health problems, it’s a sign that your drinking is out of control. For example, you may be drinking even though you have a medical condition that’s made worse by alcohol. Or you may be drinking even though you’re pregnant.
11. Drinking in Dangerous Situations
If you’re drinking in dangerous situations, it’s a sign that your drinking is out of control. For example, you may be drinking while driving or operating machinery. Or you may be drinking in hazardous weather conditions.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these warning signs, it may be time to seek help. Reach out to those around you and seek professional help if necessary. With the right support, it is possible to overcome a drinking problem and live a healthy and fulfilling life.
The American Addiction Institute of Mind & Medicine (AAIMM) is a leading provider of alcohol detox in Orange County. Our experienced and caring staff provides individualized care to each patient, ensuring that they receive the best possible treatment. We have a variety of detox programs, including inpatient and outpatient options, and use evidence-based therapies to help our patients detox safely and effectively. Let us help you take the first step on the road to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.