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Drinking Problem: How Do You Know If You Have One?

If you have an issue with alcohol, you're at risk for more than ruining your relationships and ripping your family apart-- you might be risking your life, too. Eighty-eight thousand individuals pass away from alcohol-related diseases every year, making alcoholism the third leading avoidable cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol abuse likewise contributes in 31 percent of all driving deaths each year.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and considering over 18 million Americans are battling with an alcohol condition of some sort, and 38 million are drinking excessive, it's a month that we should all be taking very seriously. What constitutes drinking too much isn't a specific science, the CDC says if you're a female who has 8 or more beverages a week, or a guy who has 15 or more drinks a week, the you're definitely consuming more than you should. However even if you consume less than that, you can still have a drinking issue if your life is being adversely affected by the amount of alcohol you're taking in.

Sure, drinking is fun. As someone who has actually struggled with alcohol, I can vouch for the fact that I had numerous alcohol-induced enjoyable times. On the flip side of that, every single one of my worst times was likewise an outcome of me being smashed.

If you think that you may drink too much, listen up. Here are the 12 signs you just may have a drinking problem-- and if you identify with any of these, please think about speaking with someone about how much you consume.

1. You Sometimes Lie About How Much You Drink
Even those who don't want to deal with the fact that they may have a drinking issue are still vulnerable to secret habits. It's one thing to head out drinking with your good friends however it's an entire other ballpark if you're lying to people about just how much you've had to drink and are feeling shame due to the fact that of it.

2. You Often Call In Sick Because You're Hungover
During the one and only AA meeting I ever attended, they mentioned that a huge sign that you have a drinking issue is if you've ever called in sick to work due to the fact that you were either hungover or intoxicated. I keep in mind wracking my brain and reflecting to all the "stomach bugs" I had when I was consuming all the time. I claimed to have gastrointestinal disorder a minimum of as soon as a week at that time. When exactly what's crucial in life ends up being less important than your drinking, that's a glaring sign that it's gone too far.

3. You use Alcohol As A Coping Mechanism
Who hasn't said, "I need a beverage," after a long day or a difficult occasion? It's one thing to say it and even indulge a bit it's another when your desire to relax with a drink ends up being a dependence. If alcohol is how you typically handle difficulty, that's a textbook sign of a drinking problem right there.

4. Your Personality Changes Drastically When you Drink
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, experiencing a severe shift in your personality when you're inebriateded signifies an issue. When the alcohol really starts flowing, the brain (cerebral cortex, to be precise) reacts in an unpredictable method. This can make you act strange, or sometimes even end up being violent and aggressive, for no reason besides that you're drinking.

As the stating goes, "an intoxicated guy's words are a sober man's ideas"-- which implies that whatever concerns you may be able to keep under wraps when you're sober might come flying out when you're intoxicated.

5. You have One Hell Of A Tolerance
While having a high tolerance for alcohol might have looked like a good thing when you remained in college (you know, so that you could consume cheap beer till the break of dawn), it's in fact a bad thing, because establishing a tolerance is the very first huge indication of alcoholism.

What having a tolerance truly means is that you're regularly consuming a lot alcohol that you need increasingly more to please you (i.e. get drunk). You may attempt to change from beer and wine to something harder, like scotch or vodka, to keep up with your rising tolerance, however this doesn't assist-- your body is becoming accustomed to you upping the amount of alcohol you put in it, and responding.

6. Your Relationships Are Suffering Because of Your Drinking
In between the manner in which heavy drinking can make you have messed-up top priorities when it concerns responsibility, and the method it alters your character, obviously your relationships are going to suffer. Which can become even more the case when people begin inquiring about your drinking and suggesting that possibly you drink too much, which can begin the whole procedure of lying and concealing your drinking.

The fact is, if somebody understands you well enough, they'll understand you've been drinking-- and they'll know that you've decided to lie to them, too.

7. You Engage In Risky Behavior
When individuals consume, they have the tendency to get cocky, because all those inhibitions that typically keep us acting appropriately have actually been lowered. While it's one thing to have a beverage or two in order to develop the nerve to strike on someone charming, drinking to the point that you do awful things you wouldn't typically do-- like drink and drive, enter into physical battles, or engage in other acts of stupidity-- is a sure sign that your drinking runs out hand. And harmful: alcohol can be blamed for 60 percent of all deadly burn injuries and 40 percent of fatal falls, which's even prior to we consider the 10,000 yearly deaths due to drinking and driving.

There's a reason why police headquarters have intoxicated tanks, and it's because someone with a drinking issue isn't really simply a hazard to themselves they're a threat to people around them, too.

8. You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
You do not have to be a falling down drunk 24/7 to experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Even a weekend of heavy drinking with your good friends can leave you with some troublesome withdrawal signs the next day. Stress and anxiety, restlessness, irritability, sweating, loss of appetite, and failure to sleep are all alcohol withdrawal signs, and severe withdrawals can likewise consist of seizures and hallucinations.

It's one thing to feel the adverse effects of drinking too much after an unique weekend of getting wild and crazy with your sweethearts however, if you're suffering from withdrawal symptoms every Monday early morning, or any other day of the week, then there's definitely an issue there.

9. You're A routine Binge Drinker
Binge drinking, specified as taking in more than four beverages in two hours, has definitely become a public health issue over the last few years. And it's the drinking issue that most commonly impacts Millennials, with individuals 26 and older accounting for 70 percent of the binge drinkers out there.

While the CDC says that the majority of binge drinkers are not based on alcohol, it doesn't remove the fact that routinely pounding a number of beverages in a small amount of time can still produce negative effects in your life.

10. You Regularly Drink To The point Of Blacking Out
To be clear: blacking out and passing out are two entirely various things. If you lose consciousness, then you're done for the night, and are hopefully in a safe location like your bed (though passing out from drinking is not excellent, either). Blacking out is when you're still consuming and outwardly operating, but have zero recollection of it the next day. This level of memory loss implies the damage you're doing to your brain is extraordinary, and can lead to nerve damage and brain shrinkage down the roadway-- plus, blacking out puts you at risk for every single dangerous behavior in the book.

11. You Often Promise To Quit Drinking, But Never Do
According to Alcoholics Anonymous, assuring to give up drinking, or quitting for just a couple days then returning for more, is a telltale sign that you have a drinking problem. It indicates you're hooked, and willing threaten more than you may even understand, in order to keep feeding your alcohol practice.

12. You Lie To Yourself About Having Drinking Problem
... although a lot of the previous 11 signs reminded you of your very own life. Being truthful with yourself is the primary step towards improving. And as long as you're determined about not having an issue, then, as they say in AA, you can't get the assistance you need. Having a drinking problem doesn't suggest you're an alcoholic always, or that you have to go to rehab. If you find that you typically consume too much, it's important to be mindful of when and how much you're imbibing, and it can be useful to talk things over with someone else. Needing help is the last thing that you need to be humiliated about you're not alone in your battles with alcohol.Editor's Note: If you think you may have a drinking issue, please contact the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence at or 1-800-622-2255, or Alcoholics Anonymous at

Exactly what constitutes drinking too much isn't a precise science, the CDC states if you're a lady who has eight or more beverages a week, or a male who has 15 or more drinks a week, the you're definitely consuming more than you should. Even if you drink less than that, you can still have a drinking problem if your life is being adversely impacted by the quantity of alcohol you're consuming.

Throughout the one and just AA meeting I ever went to, they pointed out that a huge sign that you have a drinking problem is if you've ever called in sick to work due to the fact that you were either hungover or intoxicated. If alcohol is how you usually cope with trouble, that's a book sign of a drinking issue right there.

While it's one thing to have a beverage or 2 in order to work up the nerve to hit on someone charming, drinking to the point that you do terrible things you would not typically do-- like drink and drive, get into physical fights, or engage in other acts of stupidity-- is a sure sign that your drinking is out of hand.

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