Are you concerned that you might have a drinking problem? Alcohol addiction can lead to a number of long term health and social problems and can be one of the reasons why people commit drink driving offences. One of the first steps to treating an alcohol addiction is realising that you have a problem. If you feel like your drinking might be getting out of control, but aren’t sure whether it is serious enough to warrant getting treatment, here are a few signs that could help you decide.
- You drink alone. If you prefer to drink by yourself rather than go out, or if you find yourself finishing off a bottle of wine at home alone on a regular basis, this could mean that you have a drinking problem.
- You experience blackouts after a night of drinking. Do you wake up with hazy memories of the night before, or no recollection at all? Forgetting the events of the previous night could mean that your drinking is out of control, particularly if it is a frequent occurrence.
- Your tolerance to alcohol is increasing. Do you have to drink more now to feel the effects than you did previously? As you consume more alcohol over a long period of time your body can build up a tolerance which means that you need to drink increasing amounts to get the same result.
- You drink to relax or to forget about problems. Many of us are guilty of reaching for the bottle after a stressful day but if you are using alcohol as a means to escape from problems every time you might want to think about finding a more positive coping mechanism. If you feel like alcohol helps you cope with day to day stresses or difficult life events it could be a sign of an underlying issue which needs addressing.
- You often think about drinking and when you are going to get your next drink. Thinking about alcohol and craving it when you are not drinking, particularly in the morning, could be a sign that your body is dependent on alcohol.
- You lie about your drinking or feel the need to conceal how much you drink. Keeping your drinking a secret is often the sign of a problem. If you feel defensive about how much you drink and prefer to hide it from the people around you it could be a sign that you have a problem.
- Drinking is affecting your ability to carry out work, study or other commitments. Do you struggle to get to work on time? Feel too hung over to study? If your drinking is making it difficult for you to function in your daily life it is probably time to cut down or stop altogether.
- You find it difficult to stop or cut down your drinking. Have you tried to stop but found it too hard? Difficulty reducing your alcohol intake could be a sign that you are addicted and need to seek help.
- You have been in trouble with the police for drink driving offences. Drinking too much can lead to additional problems such as drink driving charges and disqualification from driving. If this has happened to you, it could indicate that you need to reduce your drinking.
If the above sounds familiar it may be worth seeking further help. Alcohol addiction can have a serious impact on your health and future but stopping is often difficult on your own. The sooner you can address a drinking problem, the sooner you can move on with your life and hopefully avoid any serious consequences such as alcohol related illness, and a criminal record for drink driving offences.