Sometimes it might be difficult to tell if you have a drinking problem. You might just see yourself as a social drinker who occasionally over-indulges. However, there are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not you may have a drinking problem. Short of an admission, the best way to know if there is a drinking problem is to identify the existence of a pattern of drinking-related issues. Patterns can be psychological (i.e. on-going cycle of quitting followed by drinking and remorse for failure) or physical (incidents of legal or family problems resulting from drinking).
Some of the signs of a drinking problem, as designated by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, include:
You want to quit drinking, but you can’t.
You find yourself consistently doing things you regret while intoxicated. You wish you could cut down on drinking or quit altogether, but you keep drinking anyway.
You’ve developed a tolerance to alcohol.
You can drink significantly more than you could when you first started drinking. You find that it takes more alcohol for you to feel drunk now. Additionally, you drink faster and with the intention of getting drunk rather than just enjoying the social experience.
You find yourself in dangerous or risky situations.
Excessive drinking has landed you in situations that could harm you or someone around you. Examples include: driving under the influence, getting into fights and having unprotected sex.
You have a different personality when drinking.
Your sober personality and your personality when you’ve had a lot to drink are dramatically different. This is often a sign of not only a drinking problem but also an underlying emotional or psychological issue that urges you to turn to drinking as the solution.
You have consistent memory lapses or “black-outs.”
Having frequent gaps in your memory can be attributed to problem drinking. Blacking out doesn’t always mean passing out, as problem drinkers can be conscious for periods without memory of what happened.
Get Help for an Alcohol Problem
If you think you may be struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction, and you want someone to talk to about it, we can help. Our certified addiction specialists can talk to you about your problem and help you find healthy ways to overcome it.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.