Often, we tend to be able to notice someone else’s problem with alcohol before we can see it in ourselves. We see ourselves through a softened lens and can make all sorts of excuses as to why our drinking is ‘under control’. We tell ourselves that we could stop anytime if we wanted to and that ours is just social. But there are some pretty clear ways you can identify whether or not you have a problem with alcohol, if you’re willing to be honest with yourself. Here are five of the most common:
If you find that you are using alcohol as a means to escape from your problems in life, this should be one of the big warning signs. Self-medicating with alcohol is a slippery slope and very quickly turns into alcohol abuse. Not only is it very dangerous, the alcohol merely masks the problems by dulling the senses and providing an escape, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the problem that is at the core of your unhappiness or suffering.
2. Needing to Drink Every Day or Almost Every Day
If alcohol has become a daily or almost daily part of your life and you find that you need it to calm down and ‘unwind’; then it has likely become a problem. Once this dependence has set in and you feel that you need alcohol to cope and deal with life’s issues, this is a pretty clear indication that the alcohol is now in control.
3. Interpersonal Conflict
If you are experiencing conflict within some of the relationships in your life, ask yourself if alcohol could be at its epicenter. If you find that your drinking has become the topic of fights with your spouse, partner or other family members, then you likely have a problem. If you notice a close loved one or possibly a number of loved ones reaching out to you in some way to let you know their concerns, then it is extremely important to listen and act.
4. Putting Yourself In Dangerous Circumstances
If you find that you have become increasingly irresponsible when drinking, such as driving, operating machinery or engaging in dangerous activities, then you have a problem with alcohol. Taking notice of these problems and getting help from a qualified treatment facility as quickly as possible is the best and most responsible decision you can make. Don’t wait until you hurt yourself or someone else by being reckless.
5. Neglectful or Irresponsible Behavior
When you start neglecting your family or responsibilities at home or work, you have a problem with alcohol. Neglecting responsibilities, commitments or even your own health and well-being at home or work is a sign that your use of alcohol has become a problem.