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Am I an Alcoholic?

Posted in Abused Drugs

This may be a tough topic to read, but if you are wondering whether you or a loved one is in fact an alcoholic, it may be one of the most important self-assessment or assessment you make. Look through the following questions and answer honestly.

  • Do you feel you can’t stop drinking, or control how much alcohol you consume?
  • Do you feel the need to consume more alcohol in order to achieve the same “high”?
  • Do you feel compelled to drink, or have an extraordinary craving to drink?
  • Do you gulp your drinks in order to more quickly achieve the desired high or just to feel normal and fit in?
  • Do you experience any of these symptoms of withdrawal when you stop drinking: anxiety, shakiness, sweating or nausea?
  • Do you find that much of your time is spent recovering from the effects of too much drinking?
  • Have you given up other activities in order that you can continue to drink?
  • Have you lost interest in activities that you used to find pleasurable?
  • Do you drink alone (or in secret)?
  • Do you stash alcohol in hiding places at home or at work or other locations?
  • If you find that there is no alcohol available, do you immediately have to rush out and get more?
  • Do you maintain a normal ritual of drinking (cocktail hour, before or after dinner, bedtime toddy, etc.), and become annoyed if your ritual is disrupted?
  • Have you tried and failed to stop drinking (or cut back on the amount of your drinking)?
  • Have you continued to drink despite harm to your relationships?
  • Have you continued to drink regardless of the appearance of physical (or mental) problems?
  • Do you suffer blackouts (not remembering conversations or commitments) or brownouts from drinking?
  • Do you have frequent memory loss, confusion, slurred speech, reduced reaction time?
  • Have you continued to drive after consuming too much alcohol?
  • Have you ever been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI)?
  • Have you suffered other legal consequences due to your drinking related to relationships, your job, or finances?

Remember that there are no right, and no wrong, answers to the questions. A “yes” response to several, however, may indicate that you or a loved one is either an alcoholic, or alcoholic dependent, or an alcohol abuser. In any case, use the information as a guide and seek appropriate help. There are self-help groups available, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. You can talk with your doctor. Do research on the Internet using a Google search for help with alcoholism. Confide in a trusted friend or member of the clergy. But, most of all, if you suspect that you or a loved one is an alcoholic, act now. While alcoholism has no cure, and is a chronic, lifelong condition, it is treatable. You can live a successful life as a recovering alcoholic.