Millions of people suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), but only a few of them receive treatment.
But without treatment, people suffering from alcohol addiction often hurt themselves and others. They risk their livelihoods and relationships by continuing their habit.
So if you’re wondering, “Am I an alcoholic?” keep reading to learn more. Below, we’ll list a few signs that you’re an alcoholic. Afterward, you’ll realize whether you have alcoholic tendencies.
1. Feeling Bored When Sober
Most people feel more excited while intoxicated. This isn’t an alcohol problem in and of itself. But feeling bored unless you’re intoxicated could indicate alcohol dependence.
This is due to alcohol’s ability to stifle and numb feelings of irritation, low self-esteem, and anxiety. As they continually drink to numb those feelings, they become increasingly uncomfortable with confronting them while sober.
Boredom is common during recovery, especially in the earlier stages. Those with alcoholic addiction must learn to experience and constructively respond to these negative emotions without any substances.
2. Increased Reckless Behavior Due to Intoxication
It’s not the addiction itself that causes reckless behavior. However, even a single night out drinking can lead to high-risk behavior.
If you frequently do so because of alcohol consumption, you most likely have an alcohol addiction. Such examples of high-risk behavior include:
- Property damage
- Self-injurious behavior
- Unprotected sex
- Driving under the influence
Violence, property damage, and driving under the influence aren’t only dangerous. They could also impact future job candidacy and housing opportunities.
Continual self-injurious behavior can affect the quality of life and potentially produce medical bills. Unprotected sex could result in UTIs and unintended pregnancy.
There are many ways to identify excessive drinking, but constantly causing injury to yourself, others, and property are surefire signs. The occasional mishap might occur after only a single night of drinking. But if running into trouble defines most of your nights out, then it’s time to seek help.
3. Forgoing Other Activities to Drink
Drinking socially is an activity in and of itself. But when it starts substituting other, healthier habits and activities, that’s a sign it’s dominating your life.
Alcoholic dependence involves a singular, excessive focus on alcohol. The joy produced by other hobbies and interests decreases compared to the activity. As they continue to only drink in their free time, they forget what it’s like to enjoy their day without drinking.
In recovery, patients relearn this enjoyment. They’ll also appreciate other activities without having to be intoxicated at all. They don’t have access to alcohol, letting them make room for other activities.
4. Inability to Stick to Self-Imposed Alcohol Limit
Those without alcohol dependence can consistently limit their drinking. Making no effort to define a limit or ignoring any self-imposed ones could indicate that people have lost control over their drinking habits.
People with alcoholism are unable to stop drinking once they start. It feels as if they are almost physically unable to stop drinking, even if they desire to. Some people refer to this phenomenon as not having an “off switch.”
Once people stop being able to moderate their drinking, it’s unlikely they’ll regain that ability. So, during recovery, patients will eventually learn to stop drinking altogether. Otherwise, they risk reviving their alcohol dependence.
5. Drinking First Thing in the Morning
For people with alcohol addiction, it’s difficult getting through the day without a drink. So, they might start drinking first thing in the morning. Most likely, they will continue to drink throughout the day.
Whether it’s because of boredom or to numb the pain, relying on a morning drink indicates alcoholism. Once they start drinking, they also won’t be able to stop, which can lead to a full day of drinking.
In rehabilitation centers, patients will learn to cut out alcohol altogether. This way, they will be able to start their day without drinking.
6. Threatened Livelihood Due to Drinking
No substance is worth risking your livelihood for. But people with alcohol addiction might make more time to drink during the day at the expense of their job or vital responsibilities.
It’s not only the time spent drinking that threatens livelihoods. Drinking also impairs motor and cognitive functions, making it difficult for people to perform any essential errands during the hours when they don’t drink.
Alcohol consumption also affects mental health. It simultaneously functions as a depressant and provokes anxiety and stress.
Mental health alone can hinder someone’s ability to function day-to-day. But people also drink to numb those negative emotions, creating a vicious cycle. As their drinking worsens, so does their ability to focus on anything other than drinking, including their livelihoods.
7. Withdrawal Symptoms While Sober
Withdrawal symptoms can be physically painful, complicating the progress towards recovery. Whether people with alcohol addiction pause their drinking on accident or on purpose, withdrawal symptoms can be too painful to bear.
Some withdrawal symptoms include:
Not only that, but severe withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. It is challenging for some patients to facilitate their own withdrawal. But in alcohol addiction recovery programs, they will undergo a safe withdrawal under the strict supervision of a physician.
Have Alcoholic Tendencies? Take Action Today
If you’re concerned about your alcoholic tendencies, you’ve already made a big step towards recovery. By acknowledging your problems with alcohol, you’re closer to lessening your dependence on it and living your life with more relative peace.
At APEX Recovery Rehab, we’re here to support the recovery of those with substance addictions. That is why our center in San Diego, CA offers treatment that empowers and heals patients. Contact us today if you or a loved one needs help.