There are a lot of “buzz (ed)” words around alcohol- alcoholic, binge drinker, social drinker, wino, alcohol abuse, alcohol addiction, lush- to name a few. But what does it really mean when we ask ourselves “do I have a drinking problem?” A Medical or Licensed Mental Health professional is the only person qualified to actually give a diagnosis of Substance Use Disorder- however, we can find feedback regarding our drinking if we ask ourselves (and maybe our family and friends) some tough questions regarding our feelings and behaviors when we drink.
An article on the Psychology Today website overviews a study that quantifies people’s drinking patterns and their risk for having a drinking problem.
So, do I have a drinking problem?
In addition to an honest assessment of how much you are actually drinking- it’s also important to consider the following 5 signs:
- I drink more than I intend to– even when I set limits for myself. Sometimes we may start the evening off with “I’ll have one beer or one glass of wine” and then by the end of the evening we don’t know how we ended up drinking so much.
- I find that I need more alcohol than I used to for that same “buzz”. Tolerance is a word that medical and licensed mental health professionals use to diagnose a substance use disorder. Tolerance is when over time, you need more and more of a substance to have the original desired effect.
- My family and/or friends have commented on my drinking habits. Our loved ones can provide us with more objective feedback regarding the patterns and consequences of our drinking- whether we ask for it or not.
- I have had negative consequences due to my drinking. These consequences can be in any or all of the following areas: friendships, family relationships, work, legal issues, financial stress, health concerns.
- I find myself “hungover” more often than not. If we are feeling “hungover” after an episode of alcohol consumption- most likely we drank too much and are now dehydrated and experiencing some sort of alcohol withdrawal.
If you find yourself asking, “do I have a drinking problem?” and the answer is “yes”- there is hope and help. Check out our alcohol rehab page for more information about our alcohol addiction treatment.