Drinking is pervasive in our society. Alcohol is widely available, and it is socially acceptable to drink at family gatherings and other events. For millions, however, drinking can become much more than a social activity. Overcoming denial and answering the questions “Am I an alcoholic?” is the first step in dealing with a drinking problem. It’s a difficult first step, but one worth taking.
Alcoholism is an illness that hurts relationships, destroys careers, and ruins finances. If you suspect you or a loved one have a drinking problem, there are ways to answer that question, and there are places where you can get the help you need through alcohol residential treatment.
Spotting the Warning Signs
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) does not list alcoholism; rather, the manual refers to alcoholism as Alcohol Use Disorder. The manual lists eleven points. For an AUD diagnosis, a person has to answer yes to any two points in the last year. The manual then breaks down the severity of the diagnosis: 2 to 3 points are mild, 4 to 5 moderate, and six or more severe. In the last year have you:
- Had more to drink than you intended?
- Wanted or tried to reduce or stop your drinking and failed?
- Spent a lot of time drinking, or being hungover?
- Had strong cravings to drink and couldn’t think of much else?
- Had drinking or its effects interfered with your life responsibilities?
- Kept drinking even though it was causing problems in your relationships and responsibilities?
Recognizing the problem
- C – Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
- A – Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- G – Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- E – Eye opener: Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
Answering yes to any two of those could mean you have an issue, and you should seek further help and assessment. Other resources to help identify alcoholism and abuse include MAST, the Michigan Alcohol Screen Test, and the World Health Organization’s AUDIT.
Confronting the Question: Am I an Alcoholic?
There is no shortage of tests and self-evaluations, and many deal with the same types of issues: Are you continuing to drink, even with there are adverse physical and emotional effects? Can you stop if you want to?
Ultimately, denial is one of the biggest factors to overcome when dealing with alcohol abuse and alcoholism. If you have come to a point in your life where you are asking yourself, “Am I an alcoholic?” it’s probably a good idea to find substance abuse treatment programs. Because hearing an outsider’s perspective about your drinking and what is happening in your life may be just what you need.
Help is Available Today
If you’re asking yourself, am I an alcoholic, you shouldn’t have to struggle alone. Help is out there for you, and you don’t have to let alcohol dictate your life. A residential addiction treatment program can provide you the perspective and guidance you need.