I Am An Alcoholic

How you know if you are an alcoholic is by answering a self-assessment with honesty and transparency, then evaluating your results with an open mind. You may even want to start by asking yourself a simple question like “how often do I drink?”. 

Alcoholism is a progressive disease, meaning some individuals may discover that they now regularly consume more alcohol than they wish to. Oftentimes, it may be that they are continuously thinking about their upcoming drink. Or others might turn to alcohol often after coming home from work or rely on it to get through difficult circumstances.

The commonality of alcohol intake in our society leaves many people wondering, “Am I an Alcoholic?”. Understanding the symptoms of alcohol addiction and knowing where to seek support are useful if you’re worried about the relationship you or a loved one may have with alcohol.

What Is Alcohol Use

Alcohol use disorder (AUD), the medical term for alcoholism, is characterized by an individual’s failure to cut back on excessive alcohol use in the face of detrimental effects on other aspects of their life. Alcoholism is an illness that affects the brain and can range in severity from minor to severe. It is also considered a chronic disease. 

Alcoholism may also occur as a result of this heavy drinking. In the US, 14.1 million people over the age of 18 are considered to be alcoholics.

What is a Standard Drink?

According to the CDC, a standard drink is as follows:

  • 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
  •  8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
  •  5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)

Most people adhere to the moderate drinking guidelines, which call for one drink per day for adult females and two drinks per day for adult males. Some individuals, however, may build tolerance, which makes them require more alcohol to achieve the same results. 

The Differences Between Being a Heavy Drinker and an Alcoholic

Although being an alcoholic almost means that you drink extensively and frequently, being a heavy drinker does not always entail being an alcoholic. Heavy drinking vs alcoholism is a fine line, but there are definite differences. An alcoholic can be distinguished from a heavy drinker based on when and how much they consume.

Some people may infrequently engage in heavy drinking, but they can quit at any time. Alcoholics frequently need to drink more and more to feel fulfilled and can not quit drinking anytime they’d like.

Knowing When You Have a Drinking Problem

Generally, more than four drinks per day or more than 14 drinks per week are considered excessive drinking for males. More than three drinks per day or more than seven drinks per week is considered heavy drinking for females. If you are thinking about your next drink or exceeding these amounts, they may be signs that you are an alcoholic

Alcoholism Warning Signs

You may find yourself still wondering if you are an alcoholic or not, which is normal because alcohol use disorder can take many different shapes and exhibit many symptoms. Understanding the many phases and symptoms of alcoholism is essential to determine if you or someone you care about may be at risk of developing alcoholism.

Early symptoms of alcohol abuse

Early symptom indicators:

  • Drinking more or for longer than you intended
  • Being unable to quit drinking despite your best efforts
  • Numerous hangovers brought on by alcohol
  • Drinking or its aftereffects cause problems with other obligations
  • Progressively needing more alcohol to have the same effects
  • Suffering the negative consequences of drinking alcohol

Ready to get started?

Give us a call today. Our admissions coordinators will answer any questions you may have about our program and walk you through the admissions process.

Behaviors that indicate alcoholism

You can determine whether you or a loved one may be in danger by becoming familiar with the behavioral symptoms of alcoholism. 

Behavioral symptoms may include:

  • Your drinking has a detrimental influence on your job or school
  • Being covert about your drinking habits
  • Anger or defensiveness when someone inquires about your drinking habits
  • Taking risks while intoxicated, such as operating a vehicle or engaging in combat
  • Denying your alcohol consumption habits
  • Feeling tense or preoccupied when considering alcohol
  • Even if drinking makes you feel worried or unhappy, you keep doing it
  • Reducing engagement in previously pleasant activities (sports, family events, etc.)

Physical symptoms of alcoholism

In addition to impacting a person’s mental health, alcohol use disorder also has physical effects. 

Physical indicators of alcoholism:

  • Signs of withdrawal while not drinking
  • Sluggish response times
  • A lack of coordination
  • Memory gaps or impairment
  • Unsteady speech
  • Issues with one’s physical health, such as cirrhosis, heart disease, or excessive weight gain
  • Malnutrition
  • Loss of hair or hair thinning
  • Eye bags beneath the eyes, bloodshot or yellowing of the eye whites
Untitled design (3)

When to Call a Healthcare Provider

You can use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria to evaluate whether you could be an alcoholic. If the answer to two or more of the questions are YES, calling a healthcare provider may be a good choice. 

A person must meet two of these requirements over the course of a year to be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder. A person’s alcoholism may also vary in severity depending on how many criteria they meet.

The results of the questionnaire show the probable severity of your alcoholism:

  • 2-3 Yes answers-Mild
  • 4-5 Yes answers-Moderate 
  • 6 or more Yes answers-Severe 

Getting Help with Agape Detox Center

Contact us at Agape Detox Center today if you or someone you love is ready for your life to change. We have tailored treatment plans that can work for any walk of life. 

Related services

Have any questions?

My loved one is

24/7 Confidential Helpline

Table of Contents
Skip to content