If you have been wondering, “Am I becoming an alcoholic?”, there is a chance you might already be exhibiting unhealthy patterns of drinking.
This guide shows you how to know if you are an alcoholic, includes an alcoholic quiz that outlines how to determine if you are an alcoholic, and explains how to get treatment for alcohol withdrawal.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism, clinically described as alcohol use disorder, is defined by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder characterized by the compulsive use of alcohol in spite of adverse outcomes.
Recognizing the signs of alcohol addiction is crucial for early intervention and seeking appropriate treatment. Here are some common indicators that may suggest the presence of alcohol addiction:
- Increased tolerance: Needing larger amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effects or experiencing diminished effects with the same amount.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Experiencing physical and psychological symptoms such as tremors, anxiety, nausea, sweating, and insomnia when attempting to cut down or stop drinking.
- Failed attempts to quit or cut down: Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or reduce alcohol consumption despite the desire to do so.
- Loss of control: Drinking more than intended or being unable to limit the amount consumed, often leading to excessive or prolonged episodes of drinking.
- Neglected responsibilities: Neglecting work, school, or family obligations due to alcohol use and experiencing difficulties in personal relationships as a result.
- Cravings and preoccupation: Strong and persistent desires or urges to drink alcohol, with thoughts revolving around obtaining and consuming it.
- Social isolation: Withdrawing from social activities or hobbies once enjoyed in favor of drinking alcohol alone or with a specific group of individuals.
- Continued use despite negative consequences: Persisting in alcohol use despite experiencing physical health problems, legal issues, financial difficulties, or deteriorating mental well-being.
- Shift in priorities: Prioritizing alcohol consumption over other important aspects of life, such as relationships, career, or personal interests.
- Increased risk-taking behaviors: Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence of alcohol, such as drunk driving or unsafe sexual practices.
If you or someone you know exhibits several of these signs, it may indicate the presence of alcohol addiction. Seeking professional help from addiction specialists or healthcare providers can provide a comprehensive assessment and guide you toward appropriate treatment options. Remember, early intervention can significantly improve the chances of successful recovery.
Alcohol use disorder is diagnosed according to the criteria in DSM-5-TR (the most current edition of APA’s benchmark diagnostic tool, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Alcohol use disorder is diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe using the following framework:
- Mild: 2 or 3 symptoms
- Moderate: 4 or 5 symptoms
- Severe: 6 or more symptoms
If you are concerned about whether or not you might be an alcoholic, you can consult the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder. Alternatively, answer the questions in our quiz below honestly for an accurate self-diagnosis.
Am I An Alcoholic?: Quiz
Our “Am I An Alcoholic?” quiz is based on the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder set out in DSM-5-TR.
Ask yourself the following questions based on your drinking habits over the previous year:
- Have you tried and failed to quit drinking or to moderate your alcohol intake?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol wear off?
- Is your alcohol intake causing problems in your closest relationships?
- Do you frequently drink more than intended or drink for longer than anticipated?
- Do you need more alcohol to achieve the same effects as tolerance builds?
- Do you spend lots of time drinking and recovering from its effects?
- Have you ever encountered powerful cravings for alcohol?
- Does your alcohol intake impact your personal and professional life?
- Are you spending less time doing things you once enjoyed?
- Are you engaging in risky behaviors due to alcohol abuse?
- Are you continuing to drink in spite of these problems?
If you found yourself answering yes to these questions, it’s important to seek out professional help from a professional counselor, clinician, or treatment facility to prevent your condition from worsening without the proper treatment.
What is The Treatment for Alcohol Addiction?
Effective alcohol addiction treatment integrates evidence-based therapies and MAT (medication-assisted treatment). MAT combines FDA-approved medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to effectively address alcohol cravings, and withdrawal symptoms, and support long-term recovery.
During the treatment process, experienced medical professionals will assess your individual needs and determine the most suitable medication for alcohol addiction.
Commonly prescribed medications include:
- Disulfiram: This medication discourages drinking by creating unpleasant reactions when alcohol is consumed.
- Naltrexone: By blocking the effects of alcohol in the brain, naltrexone reduces cravings and the pleasurable sensations associated with drinking.
- Acamprosate: This medication helps restore the balance of brain chemicals affected by alcohol addiction, reducing cravings and supporting abstinence.
In addition to MAT, alcohol addiction treatment programs incorporate counseling, therapy, and holistic approaches to address the underlying causes and psychological aspects of alcohol addiction.
Through this integrated approach, individuals can gain valuable tools and strategies to prevent relapse, manage triggers, and build a fulfilling life free from alcohol dependency. Ongoing therapy options are also available to provide continued support and guidance throughout the recovery journey.
Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers
Ohio Recovery Centers Health is a drug and alcohol rehab near Dayton, OH that offers personalized addiction treatment for alcohol, prescription medications, and illicit drugs.
Choose from PHPs, IOPs, or dual diagnosis treatment programs. Our intensive outpatient treatment is proven effective for mild to moderate addictions, providing flexibility and affordability without compromising care.
At Ohio Recovery Centers, our comprehensive approach combines pharmacological, behavioral, and holistic therapies, equipping you with relapse prevention strategies and coping techniques. Contact us online or call (877) 679-2132 for immediate assistance.