By Damilola Faustino
It can sometimes be hard to figure out whether you or your loved one has a problem with drinking. If this is the case with you, here are some important things to look out for in yourself or your loved one to determine if you are addicted or you are getting close:
Lying about or hiding your drinking
Denial is common with people having problems with alcohol, alcoholics might drink secretively or lie about how much they drink to make it seem like less of an issue. This can be hard to spot for anybody but the individual, due to its very nature, but it’s an important sign of a more serious problem.
Drinking to relax or feel better
Almost all people struggling with addiction abuse their substance of choice for emotional reasons. Whether it’s stress, depression, anxiety or anything else, using alcohol as a method of easing negative feelings is a risky habit—the relief it provides is only temporary and it ordinarily makes things worse in the long run.
Ignoring your responsibilities
If you’re having problems at work, school or with your household responsibilities because of your drinking, you have a problem. Alcohol has crossed the line from an occasional indulgence to something that seriously impacts your day-to-day functioning.
Get drunk regularly
Drinking so much that you have no memory of what happened is another red flag for a problem with alcohol. Simply put, it means you drank way too much. If you find this happening to you, you have to ask what is driving you to drink so excessively? You don’t need to black out to have fun, so what’s the real reason?
Being unable to stop when you start
If you always finish a bottle of wine once it’s opened or drink all the beer in the house once you’ve had one, it’s another sign you aren’t in full control of your drinking and you may have a problem.
Drinking in dangerous situations
Drinking when you really shouldn’t—like before work, before you have to drive somewhere or drinking against your doctor’s orders when you’re on medication—is an important sign of alcohol addiction. Even if something hasn’t gone wrong yet, every time you do something like this you run the risk of serious consequences. Regularly taking those risks strongly implies that alcohol is the main priority in your life.
Withdrawal is different from a hangover; it’s the reaction to the lack of alcohol rather than too much alcohol. If you start to feel irritable, tired, depressed, nauseous or anxious when you haven’t had a drink, there’s a possibility you’re going through withdrawal.
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