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Are you concerned that you’re becoming alcohol dependent?
The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that over 15 million U.S. adults have alcohol use disorder. This alcohol dependence leads down a dangerous road that can be expensive and tragic.
It can be hard to recognize the early signs of dependence on alcohol. Before you know it, you’re relying on drinks just to get you through the day. But there’s always a turning point when seemingly normal drinking habits start to become a problem.
The sooner you learn to recognize alcohol dependence, the sooner you can get your life back.
If you think you might be alcohol dependent, it’s time to face your fears and see the warning signs for what they are. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the signs that you’re becoming dependent on alcohol. This way, you can stop your drinking before it becomes a bigger problem.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know.
The Signs You’re Becoming Alcohol Dependent
Habits are notoriously hard to break, but for many people, admitting them is even harder. If alcohol dependence has crossed your mind before, it’s time to get honest with yourself.
There are all kinds of great programs to help you break free from addiction, such as Caron Treatment Centers. But the first step is knowing that you have a problem.
The longer you spend getting comfortable with your patterns of drinking, the harder it will be to break the habit. If you don’t break free from dependence on alcohol, though, you could end up with serious illnesses and many other issues in life. This is why many people consider Treatment Management Behavioral Health Centers.
It can be very hard to tell casual drinking and functional alcoholism apart. But if you show one or more of these warning signs, it may be time to seek treatment now.
1. You Replace Meals With Alcohol
Have you ever opted for a drink instead of food? Then you might be exhibiting a huge warning sign of an alcohol habit.
If you’ve ever gone to dinner but ended up just drinking, or replaced breakfast with a bloody mary, it’s not a good sign. Your body needs nutrients that it can’t get from beers or cocktails.
But if you’re too focused on getting a drink, you might not notice what your body is asking for.
Of course, we’re all guilty of skipping meals on occasion, such as when you have a really busy day. But when you add in alcohol, it can quickly become a problem. The next time you reach for a drink instead of food, check in and try to figure out what’s really driving your choice.
2. You Don’t Get Hangovers
If you drink so much that your tolerance is high, you’ll probably stop getting hangovers.
This might sound like a good thing – no hangovers? No problem! But it’s actually a sign that your body is getting so used to processing alcohol that it sees it as normal. Although not having hangovers may be nice in the short term, you’re setting yourself up for serious medical issues later on.
When you drink, you shouldn’t be able to consume four or five alcoholic beverages and still feel normal. It’s tempting to brag about your ability to “hold your liquor,” but this can also be a sign of alcohol dependence.
3. You Get Moody When You Can’t Get Alcohol
If the lack of access to alcohol leaves you irritated or angry, you have a problem developing.
Whether it’s that the liquor store is closed, or you accidentally planned your beach vacation in a dry town, you won’t be able to handle not being able to drink. You may find yourself going to absurd lengths to find booze.
Another warning sign that’s similar to this is when you find yourself planning your day around alcohol. If having a drink was such an integral part of your plans that not being able to get one is upsetting, that’s dangerous. Alcohol shouldn’t be such a regular part of your life that you can’t go without it for a few days.
4. You Drink Excessively
How often do you drink more than you should?
If you’re developing an alcohol habit, you won’t be satisfied with one or two drinks at a time. You’ll find yourself having a hard time stopping, always trying to have “just one more.” You might quickly lose count of how many you’ve had, or convince yourself that you’ve “only have a couple” when that’s not the case.
This habit is what leads you to develop a higher alcohol tolerance. To get the same feeling of intoxication, you’ll need to consume more and more each time. However, as your tolerance goes up, your ability to achieve that intoxication goes down. Instead of getting the “buzz” you want, you’re just harming your liver when you keep drinking more.
5. You Often Lose Memories
How often do you black- or brown-out? When you drink a lot and you have a tolerance, you might not feel that drunk. But the next day, your memories might be partially – or completely – gone.
Sometimes, the memory loss only happens in small ways. You might have a hard time remembering your grocery list or find yourself telling the same stories over and over again. Still, if alcohol is involved, these are warning signs.
6. You Deny Your Problem
It sounds like a stereotype, but it’s true – the first step in fixing your problem with alcohol dependence is admitting you have it. If you exhibit some of these warning signs but refuse to believe you have an alcohol habit, you’re in denial and may need help from America’s Rehab Campuses.
If someone talking to you about cutting back your drinking makes you uncomfortable, there’s a reason for that. You may not want to face your problem, but you need to. Alcoholics are notorious for making excuses for their drinking – are you one of them?
Finding Help When You Need It
Many alcohol dependent people are able to break the addiction and move forward with their lives. Some may never touch a drink again. Others eventually reach a point where they can safely have a drink or two without any problems.
However, you’ll never reach either of these healthy stages if you don’t start working so you’ll no longer need alcohol. Once you’ve spent some time sober, you’ll have a whole new outlook on life – check out some of the things you’ll learn here.