Am I An Alcoholic?

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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

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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:

  1. Have you tried and failed to quit drinking or to moderate your alcohol intake?
  2. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol wear off?
  3. Is your alcohol intake causing problems in your closest relationships?
  4. Do you frequently drink more than intended or drink for longer than anticipated?
  5. Do you need more alcohol to achieve the same effects as tolerance builds?
  6. Do you spend lots of time drinking and recovering from its effects?
  7. Have you ever encountered powerful cravings for alcohol?
  8. Does your alcohol intake impact your personal and professional life?
  9. Are you spending less time doing things you once enjoyed?
  10. Are you engaging in risky behaviors due to alcohol abuse?
  11. 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.

A group of sober people with their arms around each other to represent drug and alcohol addiction treatment in Ohio.

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.

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an image of author Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn