Alcohol is a common part of the activities that make up modern life. People gather at bars, have something to drink with their dinners, and otherwise have easy access to alcohol. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to consistent overindulgence that transitions into alcohol abuse. When asking yourself “Am I an alcoholic,” you must consider several factors in your behavior and ways of thinking.
What Is an Alcoholic?
The basic definition of an alcoholic is someone who is addicted to alcohol, typically drinks daily, and at quantities much higher than moderate use. Alcoholism exists on a spectrum. You can gradually find yourself becoming more and more hooked on having it on hand. Eventually, your body and mind end up craving alcohol at all times. Some people continue to have lives that look normal on the surface but are anything but normal upon closer examination.
Signs that You’re an Alcoholic
When you end up getting addicted to alcohol, there are many signs and symptoms to watch out for. Consider the following criteria if you are worried about being an alcoholic.
Inability to Function Without Alcohol in Your System
Once your body becomes dependent on alcohol, it doesn’t like to be without it. Your thinking and movement may become slower, and you’ll be unable to do many things you usually could.
Progressing to More Potent Alcohol Over Time
Your body builds up a tolerance to lower-proof alcohol, and there’s a physical limit to how many cans of beer one can drink in a day. Moving to hard liquor allows you to overcome this tolerance at first. Much like beer, your tolerance will continue to increase over time. Some people suffering from alcohol use disorder need to buy daily bottles of spirits just to keep up.
Having Your Alcohol Use Get in the Way of Your Life
Being under the influence of alcohol can impact many areas of your life. At work, you may do unsafe activities, make poor judgment calls, or otherwise have significant risks that could lead to injury to yourself or others. It’s also difficult to meet performance goals and expectations, so you could end up losing your job. In your personal life, you may find that you’re getting into more arguments with your loved ones or pushing them away because of your alcohol abuse. Friendships and relationships suffer, especially if people try to get you help when you’re not receptive to it.
Experiencing Major Withdrawal Symptoms
Once your body has a dependency on alcohol, suddenly stopping can have repercussions. The detox process is arduous on the body and can lead to tremors and life-threatening severe conditions. Medical intervention is often needed to handle alcohol detox due to the effects it has on your body.
Developing medical problems related to heavy alcohol use: Alcohol has a negative impact on many systems in your body, especially your heart and liver. Sustained use over time can lead to these organs becoming severely compromised. Alcohol use is also associated with several types of cancer.
Getting Help for Alcoholism
Once you’re ready to get help for your alcoholism, you have many addiction therapy services and programs to choose from. The first order of business is getting through the withdrawal process, which is best monitored by medical professionals. Treatment centers can provide 24/7 care to handle this aspect of alcoholism recovery, as well as everything that lies beyond it.