According to a study published by JAMA Psychiatry, 1 in 8 American adults meets the criteria for being an alcoholic. Alcohol is one of the most difficult addictions to have because it is so prevalent in our culture and is so easy to get your hands on. Here are a few warning signs that you may be developing a dependence on alcohol.
You Often Do Things You Normally Wouldn’t Do While Drunk
If your behavior changes radically when you’re under the influence of alcohol, this may be a sign that you have an addiction. Everyone’s personality changes a little because it decreases your inhibitions. But if you or your friends notice radical changes in your personality while you’re drunk, something may be wrong. Say for instance you’re normally laid back but when you’re drunk you get furious or aggressive. This may be a sign that you are becoming an addict.
Your Relationships Are Suffering Because of Alcohol
If your personal relationships begin to suffer because of alcohol, this is a major red flag that you may be getting addicted to it. This could be directly related to your drinking, or it could be from consequences related to alcohol abuse. For instance, if you’re neglecting certain responsibilities because you’re getting drunk and your spouse gets angry at you, this could be a sign that you’re developing a problem. Everyone occasionally makes mistakes and if it’s a one-time incident, it may not because of concern. If people begin distancing themselves from you because of your drinking, this is a warning sign that something is wrong.
You Often Drink More Than You Intend (or Should)
Binge drinking is defined as drinking more than one drink per day for men and two drinks per day for women. If you often go over that number, you may have a problem. While it’s fine to drink more than usual on special occasions if you know you can handle it, if you are binge-drinking regularly, this is a sign that you may be developing a problem. Especially if you only intend on drinking a certain amount and end up exceeding that limit. This is a sign that you have trouble controlling the amount you drink and maybe an indicator that you’re developing an addiction.
You Often Crave Alcohol
It’s one thing to enjoy a drink on the right occasion. But it’s another thing to have it consume your thoughts until you can have one. If you find yourself craving a drink while sober or letting it distract you from your normal activities, this is a sign you’re developing an addiction. This could be triggered by a certain time of the day, or it could be in response to certain stimuli or emotions. For example, if you need a drink every day at 5 pm, or you often get angry and need a drink to calm yourself. These are classic signs of alcohol dependence.
Your Experience Major Life Problems Because of Alcohol
The number one sign that you have an addiction is if you are experiencing a major life crisis as a result of your drinking. This could be losing a job, running a relationship, getting into a physical altercation, getting arrested, or any other situation that has a long-term detrimental impact on your life. This could be one major rock bottom moment, or it could be a series of smaller events that result in serious consequences. Either way, if you are seeing your life deteriorate because of alcohol, it’s time to quit. When this happens, you may want to reach out for professional help. Visit infiniterecovery.com for resources and treatment options if you’re struggling with addiction.