Knowing when you cross the line between moderate and problem drinking isn’t always obvious. However, you’re entering dangerous territory if consuming alcohol to cope with difficult situations becomes a regular habit. This is one of the beginning signs of alcoholism.
Developing this compulsive behavior can sneak up on you. It’s important to notice common warning signs so you can get help with cutting back.
Risk Factors for Developing an Alcohol Addiction
There are many risk factors for developing problems with drinking alcohol. Some include:
- Emotional health
- Social environment
These factors can interconnect and increase the likelihood that you’ll have a drinking problem. Some racial groups are more at risk than others. A family history of alcoholism can factor into whether social drinking turns into needing professional help to stop.
Another thing to consider is if you suffer from a mental health condition. Illnesses such as anxiety, bipolar disorder or depression also increase the possibility of alcoholism. It isn’t unusual to use alcohol as a way to self-medicate.
The Path from Alcohol Abuse to Alcoholism
Not everyone who abuses alcohol will become an alcoholic. For some people, alcoholism develops suddenly. It could manifest after a stressful change like a divorce, retirement, death or another type of loss.
For others, this disease gradually creeps up as their tolerance to alcohol increases with the amount they drink. Binge drinkers or those who drink every day are on the path from alcohol abuse to alcoholism.
Facing the Signs of Alcoholism
Having the ability to recognize signs that you have an alcohol addiction is the first step for recovery.
One common sign is not being able to control your drinking. Perhaps you continue to drink after saying you’ll only have one or two drinks. From the first sip, a voice is telling you to drink more.
The second common sign is drinking throughout the day to feel normal. Perhaps you’re using alcohol to mask your true feelings. This means it has become a coping mechanism for dealing with stress.
This habit may lead to the third sign: hiding your drinking from loved ones. Feelings of shame may cause you to cover up the fact that you’re under the influence of alcohol.
If you aren’t hiding your drinking, perhaps it’s hurting relationships with the people you love. Beyond risking your health and happiness, seeing how drinking affects the people you love should be enough to stop.
An unhealthy relationship with alcohol is to blame if you continue drinking heavily despite deteriorating interpersonal connections.
Making the decision to finally stop drinking takes a lot of courage. But, if trying to quit on your own is unsuccessful, it’s time to admit you need professional help.
A Healing Environment for Treatment to Overcome Alcoholism
Denver Recovery is a coed rehab facility that offers specialized recovery plans for people struggling to overcome alcoholism. Our services include:
- Holistic approach
- Outdoor therapy
- Individual counseling
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Case management
- Family therapy
If you’re showing signs of alcoholism, you can overcome the control this disease has on your life with our addiction therapy services. Contact us at (844) 602-3175 to begin the road to recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifies you as an alcoholic?
In women, it can be having three drinks a day or seven in a week. With men, it can be up to four or more a day or 14 a week. If you drink more than the suggested amount on a daily or weekly basis you could be at risk. These may not be the only way to tell if you or someone you love is an alcoholic.
How do I tell if I’m an alcoholic?
Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol abuse are: Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss. Exhibiting signs of irritability and extreme mood swings. Making excuses for drinking such as to relax, deal with stress or feel normal
How many drinks a day is considered an alcoholic?
NIAAA describes heavy alcohol use as having four or more drinks on any day or three a day for women.