When most people think of an alcoholic, they immediately picture a shambling drunkard with a half-shaven beard, disheveled clothing and a bottle in their hand. In reality, this image of an alcoholic is anything but typical.
More often than not, those struggling with alcohol addiction, aka alcoholism, appear to be normal, everyday members of society. Few alcoholics imbibe simply for the sake of being the life of the party. Instead, their unhealthy drinking habits develop as a response to deep, personal pain or traumatic experiences.
Ask Yourself These Questions About Alcohol Abuse
Misconceptions about alcohol abuse and alcoholics are prevalent. As a result, it can often be difficult for those struggling with alcohol abuse to even recognize that they have a problem. In cases like these, it makes more sense to talk about the ways a person’s drinking has made his or her life more difficult to manage than it is to ask if a drinking problem is present.
The following survey questions can serve as the guide for this introspective conversation. Use this assessment to determine if you or a loved one has developed dangerous drinking habits.
Career and Finances
Do you find yourself drinking before and/or during work hours?
Have you found yourself budgeting more money for alcohol each month?
Has drinking ever hindered your performance on the job?
Have you ever been disciplined at work or lost pay due to your alcohol use?
Friends and Family
Has a friend or family asked you to cut back on your drinking?
Have you and your partner argued frequently about the nature of your alcohol use?
Do you sometimes choose to drink alone instead of spending time with family and friends?
Have you ever lied about how much you drink to your friends or loved ones?
Health and Wellness
Have you ever accidentally injured yourself (or others) while consuming alcohol?
Do you ever drink in response to feeling strong emotions such as anxiety or anger?
Have you recently experienced a gain in weight, a loss of energy or troubled sleeping patterns?
Do you ever drink as a means of coping with painful memories?
Cravings and Control
Do you consistently feel guilty about decisions you make when you’re drinking?
Are you unable to stop consuming alcohol after having a few drinks?
Do you feel uncomfortable or uneasy when alcohol is unavailable?
Have you ever experienced body tremors or the shakes after taking a break from drinking?
Take the Next Step Toward Sobriety
Recognizing that a problem exists is the first step on the road to recovery. If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may want to consider learning more about the disease of addiction or how to get treatment. Visit our resources section for more details on alcoholism, drug abuse and mental health disorders, in addition to strategies for living a happy and sober life.