Many indicators arise when one has crossed the line from social drinking to problem drinking. Problems seem to pile up. Controlled drinking is not enjoyable or even possible. Relationships are likely effected. If any of the following are happening in your life, it may be time to make a change.
- You are constantly thinking about alcohol. You have a plan for your next drink, your next and the drink after that.
- You hide alcohol. It is simple. Social drinkers do not ever hide their alcohol. If you are hiding, there is shame. You are hiding from something and it is likely your alcoholism.
- Problems are piling up on you. Even though some of them may not seem directly related to your drinking, chances are there are connections that you do not realize. Remove the alcohol and the problems will likely dissipate.
- It affects your relationships. If you have received ultimatums, if your current mode of communication is arguing, if you find you are uninvited to places you used to be welcome, or if your children or your partner does not want to be around you, these are all signs that your drinking may be out of hand.
- It affects your job. If you cannot show up to work on time or at all, if when you do, your brain is foggy and you cannot do your job properly, if you miss deadlines and your desire to do a good job has waned, now is the time to look at your drinking before you lose the job.
- Your personality changes when you drink. If you are sober you tend to be an easy-going likeable person and when you drink, you behave badly or create commotion, there may be a problem.
- You cannot have just one. Or if you do have one, you obsessively think about another until you get it.
The more you drink the risk for injury, health problems, birth defects or alcohol use disorder increases dramatically. People who drink heavily have a greater risk of liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke and many other health problems.