Most everyone enjoys an alcoholic beverage from time to time. Most people who consume alcohol do so either to relax and unwind after a long day or to loosen their inhibitions during a social engagement. However, for many, alcohol consumption evolves into a catalyst toward a self-destructive lifestyle.
Many with alcohol addiction refuse to admit that they actually have any sort of alcohol dependence. For these individuals, it is important to recognize the symptoms of alcohol addiction and abuse.
Alcohol addiction is defined as consistent alcohol consumption, in spite of health and social consequences.
Alcohol abusers might go through similar symptoms as those who are completely dependent upon alcohol.
However, people who abuse alcohol generally do not experience the same obsession to consume and generally do not go through physical withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not available.
An addiction to alcohol can create a high tolerance and lead to an inability to manage consumption. If you fear that you may have a problem with alcohol or you have friends or family members who have expressed concern over your drinking, you should consider seeking counseling for help and evaluation.
If you have considered the possibility that you might have a problem with alcohol that could eventually lead to full-blown addiction, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Are you a solitary drinker? Or, do you hide your drinking from others?
- Do you find it difficult to place limitations on the amount of alcohol you consume at any one time?
- Do you find yourself forgetting commitments, conversations, or do you forget things that happen while you are drinking?
- Do you make a habit of drinking alcohol with, before or after dinner, and do you become irritated when this routine is interrupted or called into question?
- Have you lost interest in your favorite activities and past times that once brought joy to your life?
- Do you often feel a need to consume alcohol?
- Do you feel excited or irritated when drinking time approaches, and do you feel agitated if alcohol is not available?
- Do you store alcohol in improper areas in your house, your job, or in your automobile?
- Do you guzzle drinks, order doubles, and intentionally become inebriated to feel balanced or do you consume alcohol to feel normal?
- Have you developed legal troubles or troubles with relationships, employment issues, or financial difficulties?
- Has your body begun building up a higher tolerance to alcohol and have you found yourself needing to increase the number of drinks before you are able to feel the way you want?
- Do you experience physical withdrawal symptoms like stomach sickness, perspiration, and trembling when you decide not to drink?
What does the Big Book Say?
The Big Book states that there are really only two questions you need to ask yourself.
- First, when you want to, can you and do you stay stopped?
- Second, when you start, do you do way more than you intended?
If you answer yes to one of these questions, you’re probably an alcoholic.