Signs of Alcoholism
Learning how to know if you’re an alcoholic is the first step to beating an alcohol addiction. Like many addictions, alcoholism can sneak up on a person. What begins as social drinking or perhaps binge drinking becomes a way of life. You find that you don’t control your actions anymore; alcohol controls how you spend your money, how you plan your daily schedule and how you enjoy your time away from work
An alcoholic loses control, because their decisions become impaired. These impaired decisions might range from singular, immediate decisions like when (or if) you drink during the day to the decision to drink-and-drive from your favorite bar. Alcohol-impaired decisions eventually take over your life, controlling big picture choices and actions, like how you perform at work and, ultimately, how to how you treat your spouse and children. Learning how to spot alcoholism therefore is essential to the successful and happy life you lead.
So what is alcoholism, exactly?
Alcoholism is defined as an uncontrollable craving for alcohol. An alcoholic is controlled by their need to have alcohol around and to consume alcoholic drinks, instead of controlling their use of alcohol. Alcoholism is expensive, it’s bad for your health and it often leads to impaired decision making. In the end, alcoholism affects not just you, but those around you. Alcohol addiction lowers the quality of your life, because you’re no longer completely in control of the life decisions you make.
Spotting alcohol addiction therefore is an important step in learning to cope with alcoholism. Learns the signs that you’re an alcoholic, so alcoholism doesn’t become the dark secret in your life and the lives of your loved ones.
- Alcohol For Breakfast – Do you wake up in the morning and crave a drink? When you start to drink first thing in the morning, that’s a sign you have a physical addiction to alcohol which must be satisfied after 8 hours of sleeping (and therefore not drinking). When you have an eye-opener to start the day, you’re addicted to your alcohol.
- Can’t Stop Drinking – Can you not stop drinking after having one or two drinks? If you can’t stop at just one or two drinks, but have to keep drinking once you begin. People who aren’t addicted to alcohol can have a beer or two, then go about their business like they normally would. An alcoholic has a beer, a shot or a mixed drink, then orders them to keep coming one after another. If this drinker is at home, the alcoholic will sit and drink all night, from the first drink opened until time to go to bed.
- Singles Drinking – When you drink alone or in secret, that’s a sign you are more than a social drinker.
- Hiding the Evidence – When you hide evidence that you’ve been drinking, that’s a sign that you recognize you have a problem and want to keep it from your loved ones. If you drink so much that you aren’t comfortable with your friends and family knowing how much you drink, then you already know that you are an alcohol addict.
- Seeming Immunity to Alcohol – If you have been drinking so long and so much that you have built up a crazy tolerance for alcohol, that’s a sign you are an alcoholic. When you can drink much more than anyone else you know and you stay sober or functional, that’s a classic sign you’re an alcoholic. Alcohol addicts are naturally going to have a high tolerance for alcohol.
- Always a Little More – The other side of your high tolerance for alcohol is you need more alcohol all time to get a buzz, to get drunk or achieve your so-called “high”. Drinkers who need to increase their alcohol consumption to experience the effects of alcohol have built up an immunity to alcohol. This means you have drank alcohol so steadily that your body is used to many of its immediate effects. You might think that’s a good thing, but it masks many long term effects that alcohol has on your body. Whatever the case, if you need more than you used to need to achieve a buzz, that’s a sign you are becoming an alcoholic.