In most cases, someone who is abusing alcohol does not recognize that they have a problem. Ask yourself the following questions. If the answer to any of them is yes, you need to examine how your alcohol use is affecting your health, safety, job performance and relationships with others.
Do you have a problem?
- Do you ever drink heavily when you are disappointed, under pressure or have had a quarrel with someone?
- Do you sometimes feel guilty about your drinking? Do you do things while under the influence that you wouldn’t otherwise do? Do you find yourself regretting them later?
- Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, but you keep getting drunk when you don’t intend to?
- Has a family member, friend, or your employer ever expressed concern or complained about your drinking? Are you annoyed by their concern? Do you become defensive?
- Do you find yourself lying to your spouse, your kids, your friends, your employer to cover up your drinking – though you really don’t like lying?
- Have you had financial, work, family, or legal problems as a result of your drinking?
- Do you get drunk alone?
- Have you driven a car while intoxicated? Have you ever been arrested for driving under the influence?
- Do you need to resort to alcohol in order to do something (start the day, work or have sex, for example), to change how you feel (sad, scared, anxious or angry), or to banish shyness or bolster confidence?
- Do you notice you have an increased need for more alcohol in order to feel high?
- Have you developed medical problems or suffered injuries as a result of your drinking?
- Has your drinking led to conflicts with your friends or family members? Do you regularly hide alcohol from those close to you so that they will not know how much you are drinking?
What to do
Recognizing that there is a problem is the first step toward recovering from problem drinking. If you think you might have a problem, here are some steps you can take:
— Acknowledge the problem openly.
— Seek professional help from doctors or therapists who deal with alcohol problems and
recovery. You might benefit from counseling or a recovery program at a hospital or
— Avoid time spent with people who encourage alcohol use, or who believe that a drinking
problem is a problem of weak will.
— Seek out the support of people who are recovering themselves. Many 12-step programs
are available, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.