Have you ever wondered if the rate at which you take alcohol could be harmful to you? Are there times when you ask yourself, “am I drinking too much?” Are you the only member of your friend group who always has a hangover after every party? If so, then asking yourself, “am I an alcoholic?” might not be too far-fetched an inquiry to make.
Before you jump to any conclusions, stick with us until the end of this blog post, as we will be addressing questions like what causes alcoholism? Are there signs to note? Is there a test to take? And are there resources to help those struggling with alcohol addiction?
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What Does it Mean to be an Alcoholic?
An alcoholic is a person with a disease whereby they cannot control their intake of alcohol or need alcohol to function correctly throughout the day. People with this addiction continue to take alcohol even if they are conscious of the negative repercussions of the habit. In cases where they are not dependent on alcohol, but it affects their lives negatively, it becomes alcohol abuse.
Abuse refers to drinking more than what is considered safe. At the same time, alcohol dependence is a physical habit that causes withdrawal symptoms and significantly affects one’s life in many areas. People dependent on alcohol will have tried and failed many times to control or cut back on how much they drink. Also, their personality, mood, or behavior will change. Excessive lying, denial, covering up, defensiveness, or disguising drinking are some of the changes that might occur.
What Causes Alcoholism?
No one has been able to identify the cause of alcoholism conclusively. Still, it is a fact that alcohol triggers dopamine in the body, and the body responds by wanting more of the substance that triggered the dopamine. The more you drink, the less pleasure you get from previous quantities, leading you to drink more. The more you also drink, the harder it is for you to quit drinking.
Although alcoholism does not have a definite cause, it can be traced to some psychological reasons, including low self-esteem, mental health disorders like depression, and previous trauma that could be physical or emotional.
Am I becoming an alcoholic? What Are the Signs of Alcoholism?
Now that you can answer the question “am I an alcoholic?”, what signs do you need to look out for in yourself to be sure you are not an alcoholic? The thing about alcoholism is that its symptoms and signs are usually obvious. Some signs are
- Being increasingly secretive: One key sign that you are becoming an alcoholic involves taking your excess drinks secretly. This could be in the comfort of your home or a public area, away from friends.
- More prone to minor accidents: Alcoholics are not often in complete control of their faculties, resulting in minor bruises and injuries. A small bump there and a minor fall here, and you would have a lot of injuries you cannot necessarily account for.
- Reduced care of hygiene: More often than not, an unkempt feeling comes with those dependent on alcohol. As alcohol abuse continues, the person may give the impression that they have not showered recently, given up shaving, and no longer washed or changed their clothes.
- Experiencing worsening financial difficulties: Alcohol addiction is expensive and could also make addicts irresponsible and unproductive at work, costing them economic opportunities while eating into their finances.
- Continued drinking despite adverse consequences: If you continue to drink even though it’s causing problems in your relationships, work, or health, this could be a sign of an addiction.
Is There a Test for Alcoholism?
If you still aren’t sure what your answer is to the question, “am I an alcoholic?” You might be inclined to ask for a test, but are there any tests for this?
No single test can tell for sure if someone is an alcoholic. But some tools and resources can help you figure out if you have a problem with alcohol.
The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) is a tool that is often used. This is a 10-question survey that asks about how much alcohol you drink, how it affects your life, and if you’ve ever had any problems because of it.
A physical exam is another way to determine if you have a problem with drinking too much. A doctor can look for signs of liver damage, poor nutrition, and other health problems caused by drinking too much alcohol.
Finding Resources For Alcohol Addiction
Are you an alcoholic? Getting help as soon as possible is crucial if you think you might be addicted to alcohol. The good news is that with CFC Recovery’s relapse prevention program in New Jersey, you can get access to numerous resources and tools that can help you beat addiction and get your life back on track. Reach out today to start your journey to recovery.