Are you a moderate drinker or have you grown an addiction to alcohol? The boundaries can sometimes be blurred, but if you sense that you drink to cope with the stresses of life and to alter your mood, you may be living dangerously. Here are ten signs that you may have developed a dependency on alcohol:
Your close friends, colleagues and family members are worried about you
People close to you are able to assess or observe any changes about you better than you could ever do. Someone who has developed an alcohol addiction could find excuses for their worrying drinking patterns, but their loved ones will see it clearly.
Alcohol becomes your escape from life’s troubles
If you find yourself turning to alcohol when you have an issue at home, in the workplace or in your relationships, you may be suffering from alcohol dependency. You may find yourself turning to alcohol to ‘self-medicate,’ with the thought of alcohol providing you comfort. You will discover that any pleasure you receive from alcohol is temporary and that things will get worse long-term.
The availability or not of alcohol controls your mood and focus level
You could liven up at the sight of alcohol or withdraw into a shell, get distracted, become irritable or lose concentration if you can’t get it when you want it. You or people around you may also observe signs of insomnia, loss of appetite or trembling when you haven’t had a drink for a while.
You can’t seem to have enough
You want to quit; you’ve tried several times and failed. It appears it has overwhelmed your willpower and you simply give in to drink.
You can take more than you used to
If you find yourself consuming more alcohol than you used to, with lesser effects, there is the possibility that your body has grown a tolerance to drink and adapted to cope with it better.
You drink even when the circumstances make it unadvisable
You know that it’s dangerous to drink and drive or when on medication but you still find yourself reaching for alcohol. This is when you realize that you have made alcohol a priority – thus you have a drinking problem.
You lie and try to hide your drinking habits
You love to binge on alcohol and get high, yet secretly, especially after the hangover, you’re sad and certainly not proud of your drinking habits. When your loved ones ask you if you’ve been drinking again, you become dishonest and lie about it or about how much you have been drinking.
You ‘black out’ most of the time after heavy drinking
You probably remember many occasions when you went blank after a drinking binge and you can’t remember your last conversation with your spouse, a friend or colleague. High doses of alcohol interrupt with the normal functioning of the brain, affecting memory.
Alcohol is causing financial issues
Your dependence on alcohol is beginning to get you into financial difficulties.
You know it’s causing you all sorts of problems but you drink regardless
You know that alcohol is negatively impacting your finances, health, physical appearance, emotions, marriage, family commitments, work and other important relationships, but you can’t shake off the urge to drink. That’s a surefire sign you have become an addict and need treatment for recovery.