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26 FEB 2018

Am I an Alcoholic?

Do I Just Like Drinking or Am I An Alcoholic?

Alcohol is a regular part of life and culture in America, and many adults like to imbibe. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with having a “wet” society, the widespread acceptance of drinking, and even binge drinking, has the effect of misleading people about their own alcohol issues. It can be hard to look at your own drinking and conclude that you are an alcoholic, especially through the lens of “It’s ok, everyone is doing it.” Read below to see if you may have a drinking problem that should be addressed immediately.

You cannot stop at one or two.

You go to a neighborhood bar with a friend for a cocktail and promise yourself and him or her that you will only have one drink. Or you make a similar claim when out to dinner, saying only a glass or two of wine with a special meal. Fast forward to the end of the evening or the next morning, and you are very drunk and do not remember how you came home.

People who struggle with alcoholism often lose track of how many drinks they have had and the time span in which they consumed those drinks. And having only one drink is not an option for people with alcoholism. Overdrinking and not noticing is bad enough, but the issue is compounded when it is a regular occurrence.

Your social life is fueled by liquor.

Many adults, if not most, enjoy cocktails, wine, and beer with friends in social gatherings. What makes this a problem is when the liquor is a requirement for social interaction and becomes the focus of it. It is fairly typical for people struggling with alcoholism to use alcohol to drive their social life. Alcoholics will drink heavily before arriving at a social function and then continue to drink through the event, and may even go out for a few drinks after friends have gone home. Although consuming alcohol is “normal” in social situations, try to remember the last time you were sober when socializing - can you?

An even more poignant measure: How often are you sober alone? You are likely exhibiting the behavior of someone with an alcohol addiction problem if you regularly get drunk alone.

Every day is an occasion to drink.

The frequency of your drinking and the context in which you drink says a lot about your relationship with alcohol. The truth of the matter is that it is not “normal” to drink every day, even if it is just a few beers or wine. The situation is even grimmer if you are concocting elaborate excuses as to why you should finish a bottle or six-pack every day. Here are some CDC guidelines to measure if you may have a problem with alcoholism:

  • You consume more than five alcoholic drinks per day for men, and four drinks for women.
  • You consume more than 15 alcoholic drinks per week if you are a man, and 8 alcoholic drinks per week if you are a woman.

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