Battling alcoholism is hard for a lot of people. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 16 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder, or AUD. If you noticed you’ve been drinking more than usual or that friends or family are commenting on your drinking habits, you may worry that you’re an “alcoholic.” But not everyone who likes to drink is an alcoholic; it takes more than just depending on alcohol as a way to unwind after work. There are signs of alcoholism to look out for that can help you identify whether or not you have a drinking problem. Here are four of them:
1. Alcohol helps you function daily.
It’s not uncommon to delight in an occasional drink or two to relax after a long day of work. However, when those one or two drinks turn into a daily ritual of three or more to help you get through your day, it’s likely an indication that you’re consistently depending on alcohol and drinking too much.
2. You have a family history of alcoholism.
Alcohol addiction can happen to anyone; it’s both a learned behavior and disease. But scientific research also indicates that some people may be genetically predisposed to AUD—that is, people with certain genes may be more likely to develop an unhealthy drinking habit. If you notice that you’re over-drinking and your family has a history of alcoholism, consider seeking help.
3. You binge drink.
Do you consistently end up drinking more than you wanted? Then you may be an alcoholic. Binge drinking is defined as guzzling down several drinks within a couple of hours—four drinks for women, five for men. Repeated binge drinking can lead to alcoholism—since the more you drink, the more your body may crave alcohol—so it’s important to recognize when you’re doing it and cut back.
4. You exhibit anger (or other negative emotions) when drinking.
Alcohol can play an integral role in altering your emotions. Some may rely on alcohol to gain a relaxing feeling. It’s a depressant, which can explain why some people feel relaxed after a glass or two of wine. However, if you notice that each time you drink alcohol, it’s bringing out negative emotions—like anger that makes you violent, extremely sad, or aggressive—then it may be a sign that you’re drinking too much.
How to get help?
Knowing whether or not you’re drinking too much requires recognizing the signs of overconsumption of alcohol. The good news is that you don’t have to battle alcohol addiction on your own. Instead, get help from a licensed team of professionals with experience and expertise in alcohol addiction treatment, like Ria Health. Ria Health offers an at-home program with round-the-clock support. With our world-class medical team, recovery coaches, and special in-app tools, we help you achieve your drinking goals—whether that’s cutting back on alcohol or quitting altogether.