How do you know if you or someone you love suffers from alcoholism? Learn how to recognize when drinking is a problem with these 3 signs of alcohol abuse.
You've always been the kind of person to enjoy a cocktail after work or a few glasses of wine with a fabulous meal.
In the past, you never gave how much you drank a thought. But now, drinking doesn't feel like it did before. It's starting to feel like something you have to do to feel comfortable, relaxed, or even just to fill the time.
When is drinking a problem, and when does it stop being something you do for fun and start becoming a full-blown addiction?
Read on to find out.
1. You Hide Your Drinking
One of the first signs of alcohol abuse is when you feel like you need to keep the amount of alcohol you drink a secret from the people around you.
You may hide bottles in the garage or bury them deep into the trash, drink when you're home alone, or even lie about how much you've had to drink.
This indicates a sense of shame surrounding your alcohol intake and the knowledge that you're drinking more than you should. But if people knew the truth, they might tell you to stop -- and you don't want that to happen.
You may also socially withdraw and isolate yourself because you want to be able to drink without anyone making a comment or knowing the truth about your drinking.
2. You Feel It Physically
Everyone has experienced the brutal feeling of being hungover from time to time.
But when is drinking a problem?
When you feel these hangovers more often than not when you drink so much you throw up, and when you feel like you need to start drinking ASAP after a night out to avoid withdrawal.
You may also notice that you have "the shakes," that you frequently feel exhausted, and even notice a sudden weight gain.
In extreme cases, physical symptoms of alcohol addiction can include seizures, a racing heart rate, or even hallucinations.
3. You Can't Stop Drinking, Even If You Want To
Finally, the most obvious of all the signs of alcohol addiction is that you've realized you can't stop drinking on your own.
Maybe you've tried in the past, but the withdrawal symptoms were so severe that you felt miserable or even unsafe. Perhaps you just can't say "no" to the social pressures of drinking.
In some cases, you might like it's impossible to have a "fun night out" without getting wasted.
Especially if this symptom describes you, it's time to consider a rehab center.
When Is Drinking a Problem? Now, You Know
You may think that only you can answer the question, "When is drinking a problem?" as it relates to your own life.
We hope that acknowledging these universal signs of alcoholism can help you come to grips with the reality of addiction.
However, if you know that you're drinking more than you usually do, chances are the people that care about you have noticed it, too -- and are concerned for your welfare.
Don't ever be too embarrassed or afraid to ask for help.
Finally, make sure you bookmark our blog to learn more about how to find the right addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one.