Am I An Alcoholic
Do you have concerns about how much you drink? Do you have family members who are heavy drinkers or are struggling with alcohol use disorder? Maybe you are asking yourself, “Am I an alcoholic?”
Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
To answer the question “Am I An Alcoholic” largely depends on your family history and drinking habits. Some of the common signs and symptoms of alcoholism you should look for include:
- How often do you have a drink? If you are drinking 2 to 4 times a week or even daily, you may need to be concerned.
- How many drinks do you consume when you drink? If you have 1 or 2 drinks, then you may not be an alcoholic. On the other hand, if you are drinking 5, 6, or more drinks, you may have a drinking problem.
- Drink more than 6 drinks when you drink. If you are consuming this number of drinks weekly, several times a week, or daily, you need to be concerned.
- Binge drinking when you drink alcohol. If you consume 4 to 5 drinks in less than 2 hours and binge drink frequently can indicate alcoholism.
- Not being able to stop drinking once you start. Another common sign of alcoholism is losing all self-control over drinking once you start.
- Drinking alcohol when waking up with a hangover. If the first thing you do when you wake up with a hangover is drink, you could be an alcoholic.
- Experiencing blackouts after drinking heavily. If you cannot recall events or remember what happened when you were drinking, you need to be concerned.
- Family history of substance abuse/addiction. If there is a family history of abusing alcohol or other substances or addiction, you could be at risk of developing alcoholism.
What Is Alcoholism?
The terms alcoholism, alcohol addiction, and alcohol use disorder are often used interchangeably. However, these terms have different meanings that refer to different types of problems related to drinking.
Alcoholism often refers to someone who has developed a dependence on alcohol. Dependence occurs when the person needs alcohol to function in various situations. However, some people can go all day or several days without drinking and still struggle with alcoholism. Yet, when they do take their next drink, they often find it difficult to stop drinking.
Alcohol addiction and alcohol use disorder are terms used to describe an addiction to alcohol. It is essential to remember dependence and addiction are two different stages one progresses through as they develop alcohol use disorder. Addiction is the last stage one reaches.
What Is a Heavy Drinker vs. an Alcoholic?
A heavy drinker is someone who drinks two or more drinks daily or consumes 14 or more drinks each week. Binge drinkers can also be considered heavy drinkers since they consume a large number of drinks in a short period.
However, it is essential to remember heavy drinkers and binge drinkers may not be alcoholics. Conversely, alcoholics could be heavy drinkers and binge drinkers. The difference has to do with what occurs once they stop drinking.
When someone is a heavy drinker or binge drinker, and they stop drinking, they can function without drinking. While they can have some withdrawal symptoms, like a hangover, headache, or nausea, they feel perfectly normal once it passes without the desire to drink.
On the other hand, when someone is an alcoholic, when they stop drinking, they find they cannot function unless they drink. Additionally, their withdrawal symptoms are more severe, often resulting in drinking just to avoid them.
Furthermore, drinking becomes a necessary habit just to survive. When someone suffers from alcohol use disorder, all that matters is when they will be able to take their next drink.
What Is a Functioning Alcoholic?
A functioning alcoholic is someone who suffers from alcohol use disorder yet they are still able to function normally. They can keep their job, maintain their family and personal relationships, manage their finances, cook, clean, and even keep up with personal hygiene habits.
However, they are still reliant on alcohol to function. Should they stop drinking, they will experience severe alcohol withdrawal. Yet, sadly, many functioning alcoholics do not even realize they are an alcoholic.
What Can I Do If I Drink Too Much?
If you have not developed a dependence on alcohol and can function without drinking, then you should avoid drinking. In situations where you cannot stop drinking once you start, and are struggling with alcoholism or alcohol addiction, the best place to start is by going through supervised alcohol detox. After you complete detox, you will want to explore different alcohol dependence and addiction programs to help you remain sober.
Supervised Alcohol Detox in Beverly Hills, CA
When you want help with your alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, and want to stop drinking, supervised alcohol detox is available through MD Home Detox in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, CA.
We offer concierge-level detox programs that can include medication-assisted treatments to help you safely detox from alcohol in the comfort of your own home and avoid a relapse. We can also help you develop a treatment plan through our extensive network to get the alcoholism and addiction treatment you require.
For further information about our at-home alcohol detox programs, please feel free to contact us today!