How Do You Know If You Have a Drinking Problem


Alcohol is a usual denominator in many social situations, and most people are able to drink moderately without it becoming an issue. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for everybody. For those who cannot drink in moderation, alcohol not only impacts small moments of their daily lives such as an office get together or a wedding, it also commonly affects other aspects of their lives, such as overall job performance or relationships with family and loved ones.

There are numerous signs that indicate you or someone you know may have alcohol use disorder, and these people should seek an alcohol dependency evaluation, so the condition does not continue to cause harm or distress.

Types of Alcoholics

Alcoholics typically fall into one of five subtypes. These include:

  • Young Adult – The largest of the categories. The average age of becoming an alcoholic is age 20. They rarely seek help for dependence, and they tend to binge drink more than those in other categories.
  • Young Antisocial – They became alcoholics earlier in life, they typically smoke pot and tobacco, and more than 50% of them have antisocial personalities.
  • Intermediate Familial Subtype – These people usually become alcoholics in their early 30s and almost half of them have family members who are also alcoholics.
  • Functional – In general, they are middle-aged, have a career, stable relationships, a higher education level and make more money than those in the other subtypes.
  • Chronic Severe – Less common, this category typically includes males with high divorce rates as well as those who frequently use illegal drugs.

Signs and Symptoms of an Alcohol Addiction

For those asking themselves “Am I an alcoholic?”, there are certain signs and symptoms that may indicate you have a problem or be addicted. These include:

  • Blacking out – unable to remember events or conversations
  • Practicing risky behavior – driving while under the influence, unsafe sexual relations, or legal problems
  • Avoidance of friends and family – some alcoholics prefer to drink alone
  • Missed days of work or school – due to hangovers or the desire to drink
  • Loss of friends – they may choose new friends who drink more frequently
  • Change in mood or behavior – depression, anger, or violent behavior
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms frequently – shakiness, difficulty sleeping, nausea, racing heart, or excessive sweating

People who recognize any, or many, of these symptoms may subconsciously know that they have a problem with drinking alcohol. These people should seek help.

How to Search for an Alcohol Dependency Evaluation

People who choose to seek a chemical dependency evaluation should not feel ashamed. There are many resources available for those with a substance use disorder, and there are many others with whom to share the healing journey.

While it may help to speak with a close friend or relative, it is best to discuss it with a healthcare professional. They have the tools and knowledge to perform a formal alcohol assessment. Along with conducting a drinking-habit questionnaire, they will also ask questions related to feelings, thoughts, and other behaviors to see what underlying issues may be the cause of the drinking problem. With permission, the healthcare provider may also speak with friends or family members to help formulate a comprehensive plan for treatment.

Treatment for alcohol use disorder can come in many forms including medication, counseling and inpatient or outpatient alcohol programs. Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare Assessment Center can provide expert evaluations to help you understand the severity of your drinking problem, and walk you through the process of getting you help.

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