Alcohol addiction is all too common among Americans, and many may be in denial that they even have a drinking problem. Alcohol is not only legal, it’s easily accessible, and in many cases, drinking is seen as a right of passage and a socially acceptable sign of “fitting in”. Drinking excessively can pose serious risks to your health. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 88,000 people died each year between 2006 and 2010 due to excessive drinking.
How Much is too Much?
Excessive drinking is classified as the consumption of heavy amounts of alcohol. This can include binge drinking, heavy drinking, and the abuse of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21 or pregnant women. Binge drinking is the most prevalent form of alcohol abuse. This type of drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a pattern in which multiple drinks are consumed in a two hour time span. For women, this consists of four drinks within two hours, and five for men.
Heavy drinking is defined as the consumption of eight or more drinks a week for women and 15 or more drinks a week for men. There is a fine line between alcohol abuse and addiction, and many who drink to excess may never become dependent on the substance. Those who do fall into addiction, though may have a hard time accepting it or may not even realize they have a problem.
Do I have a Drinking Problem?
If you have ever asked yourself this question, chances are you’ve experienced one or more of the following warning signs of alcohol abuse:
- -lying to your friends and family about how much you actually drink
- -you currently experience or have experienced “black outs” in the past when you drink
- -you drink more than you initially intend to
- -feeling guilt or shame for drinking
- -hiding alcohol
- -constantly neglecting your responsibilities
- -drinking to relax
- -drinking even though it’s causing problems with the people you care about
- -having no regard for your safety or the safety of others when you drink
- -regularly having social or legal troubles due to your drinking
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism is a medical condition that causes the user to become physically and mentally dependent on the substance. Therefore, if you feel like you are compelled to drink out of a physical need or because you simply can’t function without it, you may be an alcoholic.
Signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- -drinking takes up most of your time, focus and energy
- -you can no longer control how much or how often you drink
- -you deal with constant cravings
- -you continue drinking even though it’s having a negative impact on your life and health
- -you begin neglecting your loved ones and other priorities
- -you want to quit, but simply can’t no matter how hard you try
- -you experience withdrawal symptoms if you don’t drink such as nausea, shaking, insomnia, irritability, depression, etc.
If you or someone you love is ready to admit they have a drinking problem, there is help available. At White Sands Treatment Center, we offer comprehensive and customized alcohol rehab programs to help you begin your recovery journey.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.