Test to See If You’re an Alcoholic

Alcoholism sneaks up on people. It is hard to imagine anyone not being fully aware of the risks and results of alcohol addiction, but millions of people find themselves trapped by this disease each year. Young people feel immune to the risk, and older drinkers assume they are mature enough to know if and when a problem develops. Many people are simply misinformed about the nature of alcoholism.

Physical Addiction to Alcohol

Tolerance to alcohol builds quickly. This means that the individual will need to drink a larger quantity in order to feel the effects desired. If a user continues to gradually drink more and more, he or she greatly increases the likelihood of becoming addicted. The body and mind will develop a need for alcohol, and, when the alcohol leaves their system, drinkers will feel irritable, anxious or obsessive and may experience physical withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever and pain. As use of alcohol continues, they may drink to medicate withdrawal symptoms without realizing it.

Psychological Addiction to Alcohol

There are psychological effects of excessive alcohol consumption that cloud the user’s judgment and objectivity. The euphoric high felt after drinking a large amount of alcohol directly stimulates the pleasure center of the brain. This is the same are that drives the following:

  • Behavior reinforcement
  • Impulse control
  • Emotion management
  • The formation and recollection of memories

The brain will crave the relief from physical and emotional pain that comes with the consumption of alcohol and will use any psychological tools available to achieve it. One of the most common psychological tools is an alcoholic’s inability to realize that he or she has a problem. Denial and justification are powerful emotional responses that keep many people progressing down the road of addiction. Alcohol users may not admit even to themselves that they have a problem, until they are forced to by events or loved ones.

How Alcoholism Develops

Alcohol addiction almost always develops as a result of one of the following two behaviors:

  • Binge drinking: Infrequent excessive consumption that causes severe impairment can lead to addiction.
  • Regular excessive consumption: Drinking more than one drink per day (women) or two drinks per day (men) on a regular basis can lead to addiction even if full intoxication isn’t experienced.

How to Know If You Are an Alcoholic

It is easier to develop an alcohol abuse problem than most people realize. Positive answers to the following questions may indicate that you are at risk for a drinking problem:

  • Do you drink more than 1 drink per day (women) or 2 drinks per day (men)?
  • Has drinking changed your participation in activities you once enjoyed?
  • Have you ever changed plans based on whether or not alcohol would be available?
  • Are you defensive if someone asks you about your use of alcohol?
  • Once you start drinking is it difficult or impossible to stop until you are intoxicated?
  • Have you ever lied to hide your use of alcohol?
  • Do you feel like you have to drink more than you used to in order to feel any effects?
  • Is alcohol negatively affecting your relationships?
  • When you are not drinking or drunk do you constantly think about the next time you can drink?

Find Help with Alcoholism

If you think you or a loved one may be an alcoholic, please call our toll-free helpline today. Even if you are not currently an alcoholic, you may be on your way to developing a problem. Our specially trained staff can answer any questions you may have, help you determine if alcoholism is present and help you find the resources you need. The call is free and confidential. You have nothing to lose other than a disease that can ruin your life. Call today.

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