A recent study found that 26.9% of Americans engage in binge drinking while 6.2% have an alcohol abuse disorder.
It can be hard to make the distinction between binge drinking and true alcohol dependence. While both are problematic, those who have an alcohol abuse disorder may need to seek professional treatment.
Let’s talk about when it’s time to say to yourself, “I am an alcoholic,” and seek treatment.
Ask yourself this series of questions and do some honest self-reflection.
Do I Prioritize Buying Alcohol Over Other Things?
Untreated alcoholics will routinely spend money on alcohol even when it means sacrificing other things–including necessities. Have you ever purchased alcohol with money that should have gone towards rent, food, or bills?
Have I Missed Several Obligations Due to Alcohol?
Think back over the last few months. Have you shown up every time you were supposed to?
This can include work, school, or social outings. It’s one thing to call out of work or cancel plans because you’ve caught the flu. But what about times you’ve missed out on obligations because you chose to drink instead or had a severe hangover?
Have I Tried and Failed to Cut Back on Drinking?
Perhaps your family and friends have expressed concerns about your drinking or you’ve had moments of discomfort, yourself. This may have led to your desire and attempt to cut back or to stop altogether. Were you able to do it or did it feel impossible?
It is recommended that alcoholics seek Alcohol Treatment Services. Trying to cut back or quit and failing can be incredibly discouraging but you shouldn’t hold it against yourself.
The difference between binge or heavy drinking and alcoholism is that alcoholism is an addiction. In other words, it is a mental and physical illness that should be treated as such. Asking for professional help with alcoholism is a sign of strength and a step towards taking your life back.
Do I Put Myself and Others At Risk Because of My Alcohol Use?
In addition to your relationship with alcohol, think about your behavior, particularly when you’re drunk. Drinking impairs our vision, coordination, and decision-making skills. Do you feel that you’ve made regrettable decisions due to your drinking but don’t have the power to make a change?
This can include drinking and driving. It can also include having unsafe, unprotected sex. It can also include violent, aggressive, or erratic behavior that is harmful either physically or emotionally to yourself and the people around you.
The First Step is Saying, “I Am an Alcoholic”
When you’re on the rocky road to recovery, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. If the questions above resonate with you, then it may be time to say to yourself, “I am an alcoholic.”
Be kind to and patient with yourself. Asking for help is the second step and will do wonders for your recovery process but you will also need self-love and determination as you seek a life of sobriety.
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