Am I an Alcoholic?
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.