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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.
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.
According to the CDC, a standard drink is as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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 symptom indicators:
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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:
In addition to impacting a person’s mental health, alcohol use disorder also has physical effects.
Physical indicators of alcoholism:
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:
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.
Stephanie Catalano is an accomplished Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare. With a Master of Social Work degree, LCSW license, and extensive training in Rapid Resolution Therapy under her belt, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Her unique combination of education and experience allows her to provide exceptional care to clients and lead her team with confidence. Stephanie’s joy comes from witnessing the moments when her patients creatively connect the dots and bravely move toward reclaiming their power. Her purpose is to help individuals understand their past so they can create a future full of hope, growth, and success. Stephanie attributes a large portion of her success to the supportive culture and strong sense of community fostered by the Agape team.