If you drink frequently or think you have a drinking problem, you might ask yourself, “Am I an alcoholic?” However, not everyone who drinks too much is considered an alcoholic, but they may have an alcohol use disorder. At Wellness Vida Entera you can learn the differences between alcohol abuse and alcoholism and the factors that can help you determine whether you are an alcoholic. Finally, you’ll learn what to do if you need help recovering from alcoholism or taming runaway alcohol abuse.
What’s In a Name: Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcoholism
Unless you have personal or medical restrictions, getting a few drinks with friends or at dinnertime is often not considered an issue – this is called social drinking or casual drinking. Alcohol abuse refers to the pattern of drinking excessively regardless of the negative consequences. A person may abuse alcohol by binge drinking (consuming large amounts of alcohol in a sitting) or heavy drinking (consuming large amounts of alcohol repeatedly over weeks or months).
Alcohol abuse often leads to alcoholism, which is the state of dependence or addiction to alcohol. An alcoholic has a physiological or psychological compulsion to consume alcohol, and they may have alcohol withdrawal symptoms when they don’t. Getting into a men’s or women’s detox program can help get your addiction under control.
Am I an Alcoholic: How Will I Know?
If you’re still wondering about the answer to the question, “Am I an alcoholic?” there are some signs that can help you identify alcoholism.
Alcoholics tend to drink alone or in secret, and you may have strong alcohol cravings in between. You may lose interest in people or activities you once liked, and prioritize drinking overwork, relationships, and other responsibilities. Alcoholics may need to have a drink first thing in the morning, and you cannot make yourself stop even if you feel guilty about it. An alcoholic often suffers from alcohol withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. Such symptoms include extreme irritability and mood swings, depression, fatigue, shakiness/jumpiness, anxiety, and sleep disorders. You may be unable to stop drinking despite the negative effect on your health, work, and family. And you may be unable to stop drinking once you begin, i.e., control how much alcohol you take.
If you answered in the affirmative to any of these questions, you might be an alcoholic, and you need an alcohol detox program to help you beat the addiction. Alcoholism can affect anyone, and deciding to get help is the first step towards recovery.
Alcoholism Self-Assessment Quizzes
Several screening tests can help you get a definitive answer if you keep asking yourself, “Am I an alcoholic?” The easiest test is the CAGE assessment, which includes these four questions:
- Have you ever felt like you need to CUT down on your drinking?
- Have you felt ANNOYED when people criticize your drinking?
- Have you felt GUILTY about your drinking?
- Have you ever needed to have the EYE-OPENER drink, i.e., a drink first thing in the morning?
You must be completely honest with yourself when answering these questions. If you answered yes to 1, there’s a low risk of alcohol abuse or drinking problem. 2-3 affirmative answers indicate a highly likely cause of alcoholism. If you answered yes to all 4, you are an alcoholic, and you should talk to a qualified professional about getting into an alcohol addiction treatment program.
How Can I Get Help for Alcoholism at Wellness Counseling Vida Entera?
Have you just found out that your answer is yes to “Am I an alcoholic?” If you or your loved one is an alcoholic, you may feel helpless and scared. But you can get the help you need with our addiction treatment programs. If you’re ready to begin your recovery journey, contact us online at Wellness Counseling Vida Entera or make a call at 951.400.0082 for more information.