21 signs you may have a drinking problem
Because addiction is complex, it’s not always clear for individuals with the condition, or for those around them, to know they’ve developed a drinking problem. In many cases, denial can keep a person from realizing their alcoholic tendencies even as it ruins their life and destroys their health.
A study this year, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), found that about one-third of adults in the United States have alcohol use disorder (AUD), and that only 20 percent of those with AUD ever seek treatment. While there are numerous reasons such a low percentage of people seek treatment for alcoholism, at least some of them might not realize they have it.
What Are the Signs Your Drinking May Be a Problem?
1. You’ve built up a tolerance and it takes more alcohol to feel the effects
2. You notice that your friends can’t drink nearly as much as you can
3. Your parents or other relatives have drinking problems
4. You’ve had one or more DUIs and still continue to drink and drive
5. Your emotions rise to the surface when you’re drinking and you’re unable to control them
6. You realize when you’re not drinking, you’re not happy, and it takes a few drinks to get back in a good mood
7. You’re always able to find money for alcohol, even when you can’t pay your bills
8. Whenever there’s a problem in your life, your first instinct is to have a drink
9. Your relationships with family and friends are suffering due to drinking
10. Frequent hangovers have you calling in sick to work on a regular basis
11. You find yourself lying about drinking or hiding how much you drink
12. Instead of having a drink or two, you always binge drink
13. You have patchy spots in your memory or blackout after drinking
14. You engage in risky behavior while drinking, such as driving drunk, fighting or sexual behavior you wouldn’t normally engage in
15. All the signs you have a problem are present, but you continue to deny that there’s any problem
16. You’re constantly checking the time to see if it’s happy hour yet
17. Every picture of you on social media shows you with a drink in your hand
18. You only hangout with people who like to drink or you plan your social life around alcohol
19. Your drinking has taken a toll on your physical health, changed your appearance, and you still continue to drink
20. When you start drinking, you can’t stop and you always want “one more” drink
21. You regularly experience not only physical withdrawal after drinking, but also emotional issues, such as depression and anxiety
Some people have experienced Alcohol Use Disorder and have been able to come through it on their own. However, a greater number of individuals that develop alcoholism won’t get better without treatment and support of some kind. If you regularly experience one or more of the above signs, but aren’t sure if you have an alcohol drinking problem, it might be time to see a specialist.