Do I Have A Drinking Problem?
The traditional image of someone with a drinking problem is a person who regularly consumes alcohol excessively and whose life is breaking down as a result of it. But that’s not often the real truth or the full story.
Many individuals appear to be doing great in life despite the fact that they misuse alcohol. Specialists refer to these men and women “functional” or “high-functioning” problem drinkers.
If they are also physically addicted to alcohol as well as psychologically, they will be called functioning alcoholics.
You can still be one despite the fact that you have what appears to be a good “exterior lifestyle,” with a career that compensates well, a lovely home, relationship and friends, claims Craig Beck, author of the best selling how to stop drinking guide ‘Alcohol Lied To Me’
How would you know you have a drinking problem?
Even though it’s now formally referred to as “alcohol use disorder,” you’ll still hear a lot of individuals discussing “alcohol addiction” or “alcoholic abuse.” It’s a disorder that varies from light to serious misuse. Don’t get caught up in ‘how much you drink’, if alcohol is making you miserable it’s all still alcoholism, even when you assume it’s “moderate.”.
Are you in denial?
A functional alcoholic or problem drinker may not behave the way you would want him to behave, Beck states. He may be savvy and effective in other areas of life. He or she might even be a significant up-and-comer at work or in a position of influence. As a matter of fact, his or her achievements can often lead folks to ignore his alcohol consumption completely.
“At the peak of my drinking, I was the director of two multi-million dollar companies and the patron of a large children’s charity”, Beck states
He or she might also be in denial. This person may think, “I have a fantastic career, pay my bills on time, and have lots of buddies; for that reason, I cannot have a drinking problem,” Beck states. Or he/she may make rationalizations such as, “I only consume high-end fine wines, I am a wine connoisseur, not a problem drinker” or “I have not lost everything or gone through serious problems due to my consuming alcohol.”.
However he/she will not be doing great really, claims Rob Huebner, of the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Addiction. Nobody, he cautions, “can consume alcohol heavily and stay on an even path over extended periods of time. If a person drinks intensively, it is going to catch up with them.”.
What Are the Symptoms?
What is a drinking problem? First, let’s start by establishing the boundaries for ‘normal’ drinking. For females, heavy drinking means having greater than 3 alcoholic beverages a day or 7 a week. For males, it’s 4 or more each day or 14 a week. If you consume greater than the day-to-day or weekly boundary, you’re at danger of a drinking problem.
That’s not the only way to tell if you or somebody you love needs to take action with their drinking. There are a few other red flags:
- They make jokes about having a drinking problem
- Not stay on top of significant obligations in your home or work.
- Forfeit relationships or have marriage problems because of alcohol consumption, yet they do not stop drinking.
- Have legal issues connected to alcohol consumption, like being arrested for driving drunk.
- Need alcohol to unwind or feel self-confident.
- Consume alcohol in the daytime or when you’re on your own.
- Get intoxicated when they do not mean to.
- Lose sight of what you did while drinking alcohol.
- Refute drinking alcohol at all, conceal alcoholic drinks, or get irritated when challenged about drinking alcohol.
- Cause loved ones to stress over or make rationalizations for their alcohol consumption.
Is this you?
Functional alcoholics and problem drinkers might appear to be in control, Beck states, but they can place themselves or other people at risk by consuming alcohol and operating a motor vehicle, having unsafe sex, or passing out.
A drinking problem comes with a lot of other dangers. It may result in liver disease, pancreatitis, many types of malignant tumours, brain damage, severe amnesia, and even hypertension. It also makes a person more likely to be seriously hurt in an automobile accident or die from homicide or suicide. And any drinking problem in the family home increases the chances of domestic physical violence, child abuse and negligence, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
How to get support.
The therapy for a high-functioning alcoholic is the same as for every other sort of addict, Beck states. Ask your physician about getting support, regardless if it’s from a counsellor, mental health expert, or other substance addiction expert. Online courses and programs like the ones offered by The Stop Drinking Expert can be a huge help to problem drinkers.
Online courses are not suitable for fully blown alcoholics but they can help people reduce their drinking dramatically without anyone needing to know about it. There is no need to take time off work and it can be completed in the comfort of your own home.
Day patient and online courses can offer an expert who can consult with you individually. Hospital programs make it possible for you to get therapy in the day and still reside in your home.
If you are physically addicted to alcohol, the most extensive treatment enables you to reside full time at a therapy center. These structures may also work together with 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.
Connecting to other individuals with alcohol abuse problems might assist somebody break through denial and start to get better.
Ready to take action?
If you believe you are already beyond a ‘drinking problem’ speak to your GP for advice about the next steps. For more information about the courses and support offered here, reserve your place on our next free quit drinking webinar.