Recent studies note that one in eight adults in the United States is an alcoholic.
Alcoholism is a destructive, dangerous disease that can impact every aspect of your life.
But since almost everyone drinks to some degree, how can you know when you have a genuine drinking problem?
Here are five signs that it may be time to put down the bottle for good.
You Drink to Cope
Life is full of ups and downs that we can’t predict. When things get tough, it’s important to have a stable of healthy coping mechanisms to help you get through the valley and reach the next peak.
Drinking shouldn’t become one of those mechanisms, though.
A drink may help you unwind or lighten up in a social setting, but using alcohol as a way to moderate your moods is never a good idea.
If you’re already struggling with a mental health condition, excessive drinking will only exacerbate your issues.
Dual diagnosis rehab center specialists can help you jumpstart your sobriety, identify any underlying mental health conditions, and develop effective ways of coping.
You’ve Developed a Tolerance
A number of factors such as your height and weight affect your alcohol tolerance. With that said, your body naturally builds up a tolerance when exposed to alcohol on a regular basis.
At some point, you might not even get a hangover anymore.
This is dangerous for two key reasons.
First, it means that feeling a buzz will become an increasingly expensive endeavor. It isn’t uncommon for alcoholics to spend hundreds of dollars each month on beverages.
The biggest risk, however, is to your body. Alcohol is filled with toxins that damage our organs, most notably the liver. Over time, the liver may become so damaged that it fails entirely, resulting in several potentially fatal diseases.
Drinking Is Part of Your Daily Routine
There’s a major difference between having a glass of wine with dinner each night and routinely drinking a six-pack. As with most things in life, drinking is all about moderation.
A drink or two each night isn’t necessarily bad.
But if you find yourself reaching for a beer as often as you reach for a glass of water, you’ve likely normalized drinking to a dangerous extent.
You Feel the Need to Hide Your Drinking
Perhaps, deep down, you already know that something about your drinking habits isn’t right.
Maybe you’re embarrassed by your drinking and want to hide it from those close to you.
Shame will only make things worse. The guilt you feel about drinking will likely make you drink more, which will only do further damage to your body, mind, and wallet.
You Have an Unshakeable Mental Fog
It isn’t only your body that alcohol damages. Your brain suffers, too.
Some mental signs of alcoholism include:
- Memory issues.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Sudden blackouts.
Alcohol eats away at your brain over time. If you’re experiencing any of the above, reach out to your physician immediately.
Find Help For Your Drinking Problem
A drinking problem can impact your life in many different ways. If you’ve noticed the above signs if yourself or a loved one, it may be time to reach out and seek help.
Reading up on our deaf recovery Twitter chat is a great place to start. Look into it, reach out, and understand that you’re not alone.