January 17, 2023 AddictionAlcohol

Am I An Alcoholic? The Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Individuals who struggle with alcoholism put their health and safety at risk due to their inability to control or quit drinking, even when drinking is causing personal, social, or financial problems. Keep reading to discover the warning signs of alcoholism and how to get treatment.

Man reaching for a glass of alcohol on a table. Text: Alcoholism has the potential to escalate, putting the individual at extreme risk.

Key Takeaways

Alcohol use disorder (AUD), more commonly known as alcoholism, is a deadly, chronic disease. Here’s what you need to know to recognize alcoholism:

If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of alcoholism, reach out to Indiana Center for Recovery, an award-winning addiction treatment center.

Alcoholism Explained

Alcoholism impairs the ability to stop or control drinking despite personal or professional problems. As time passes, alcohol consumption progresses, causing damaging or fatal side effects. When attempting to stop cold turkey, people are at risk of withdrawal symptoms that can result in death. If you have a pattern of not being able to control the amount of alcohol, are unable to quit drinking, or have problems functioning in your daily life, you are likely struggling with alcoholism. If the problem is left untreated, it can escalate quickly, which is why getting immediate help is important.

Am I An Alcoholic? Self-Assessment Quiz

Answer the following yes or no questions truthfully:

If you have answered yes to two or more of these questions, you may have alcohol use disorder. The more questions you identify with, the more serious the problem.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Do you find yourself reaching for a drink in the morning to get rid of the shakes? If you answered yes, chances are that you are drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms. This is a huge indicator of severe alcoholism. When you drink heavily and your body becomes dependent on alcohol consumption, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when there is no alcohol in the body.

Other frequent alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also include hallucinations, confusion, seizures, fever, and death. These are dangerous symptoms that should not go untreated. If you experience these symptoms, call for medical help, as this is a serious concern.

Alcoholism affects millions of individuals from all different social classes, races, and cultures. Help and support are always available for you or a loved one to get better.

When To Get Help

If you find yourself drinking too much alcohol, you are unable to control or quit drinking, or your drinking is causing problems, then you should consider getting medical help. Because withdrawal symptoms can be fatal, it is imperative to recognize the importance of medical supervision when detoxing.

Doctors will supervise and administer proper medication to keep you comfortable and safe until the alcohol is fully out of your system. Other resources for sober support and support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs. Here, you can find commonality and a solution in a community where people strive to help each other stay sober and find joy in living.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are some common initial warning signs of alcoholism?

Common initial warning signs of alcoholism often include increased tolerance to alcohol, frequent episodes of heavy drinking, and experiencing a strong urge and withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. Other signs include neglecting responsibilities because of drinking and continuing to drink despite problems with health, relationships, and finances.

Are there different stages of alcoholism showing different warning signs?

Yes, there are different stages of alcoholism, including early, middle, and late stages, with each stage showing different warning signs. In the early stage, the person may frequently drink alcohol, while the middle stage often involves the person hiding their drinking and becoming irritable. The late stage usually includes physical and mental health problems related to chronic alcohol abuse.

How do I differentiate between causal drinking and the early signs of alcoholism?

Causal drinking is characterized by moderate consumption in social settings, while early signs of alcoholism may include frequently drinking alone, needing alcohol to relax or feel better, having a strong urge to drink, and neglecting responsibilities due to alcohol use. Above all, when alcohol consumption begins to negatively affect a person’s day-to-day life and routines, it is normally a warning sign of alcoholism.