Am I an alcoholic? It’s a question that we get a lot here at LA Detox. Understanding and navigating the difference between being someone who drinks and being someone who has a drinking problem is complicated. The reality is that if this question is playing on your mind, it is worth following up with health care professionals like the ones at the alcohol detox center at LA Detox.
The question “Am I an alcoholic?” can be a particularly difficult one to answer in today’s society, where the media so often glorifies excessive alcohol consumption. The message that alcohol is “no big deal” or that it is natural to “unwind with a drink” permeates our culture.
The fact of the matter is that alcohol use and abuse costs our nation millions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that excessive drinking costs us billions of dollars each year and causes tens of thousands of deaths. Closer to home, however, alcohol use disorder can cost individuals their jobs, their families, and their sense of identity and belonging. If you are asking yourself, “Am I an alcoholic?” or “Do I have a drinking problem?” you may have experienced some of the adverse effects of alcohol abuse first hand.
Signs That It’s Time To Reach Out
Drinkers come in all shapes and sizes. It is crucial to remember that though there are rough gauges for determining how much alcohol is too much, the criteria are generally much broader. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the primary text that medical and mental health professionals use to diagnose psychiatric conditions. According to DSM, there are eleven criteria that you should consider if you suspect you suffer from alcohol use disorder:
- Do you spend a lot of time getting, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol?
- Do you crave alcohol or experience a strong desire to drink?
- Have you been unable to reduce your consumption, even when you have tried?
- Have you continued to use alcohol despite it having caused problems with friends or family?
- Do you consistently drink more or for a more extended period than you had intended?
- Do you drink alcohol in dangerous situations, like before driving or operating machinery?
- Have you continued to use alcohol despite it having caused you physical or psychological problems?
- Have you ever been unable to fulfill work, school, or familial duties due to your alcohol consumption?
- Do you give up social, recreational, or work activities because of your alcohol use?
- Is your tolerance such that you continually need more alcohol to feel its effects?
- When you have tried to stop using alcohol, have you experienced symptoms of withdrawal?
If you can answer “yes” to as few as two or three of these, you may have an alcohol use disorder. If you can answer “yes” to six or more, you may have a severe dependence problem. Wherever you are on the spectrum, at the alcohol detox center at LA Detox we are here to help by answering any questions you have. Our trained staff is waiting for your call.
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
It is tempting to think of alcohol dependence as nothing more than a question of willpower, or as something that you can “just get over” if you put your mind to it. Healthcare professionals say that this is not the case. Alcohol use disorder is a disease, and the first step in curing that disease is answering the question, “Am I an alcoholic?” When you are ready, the alcohol detox center at LA Detox is prepared to help you start down the path to recovery. Contact us today online or by calling us al 866.932.8563.