Nearly 15 million American adults have alcohol use disorder, and almost 90,000 people die each year from preventable, alcohol-related causes.
You aren’t alone if you struggle with alcohol use. There can be several warning signs you have a drinking problem. If you seek them out in yourself or a loved one, you can decide if you need help overcoming alcoholism.
Signs You Have a Drinking Problem
There are more than just five signs of alcoholism. Remember, if you think to yourself, “I have a drinking problem,” you should seek advice — even if your habits don’t make the list.
Nevertheless, these are five major signs to look for:
1You Hide How Much You Drink
One of the major signs of an alcoholic is lying about how much you drink.
Perhaps you’re meeting up with friends and have a few beverages beforehand. You might arrive at the gathering and keep drinking as if you hadn’t started earlier. Or, you might pour a bit more into your cup when no one’s looking.
Secretive drinking is a big hint that you have a problem, as it’s a clue you’re ashamed of your behavior.
2You Use Alcohol to Cope
Perhaps you don’t drink just because you enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine at the end of the day. Instead, you use alcohol to dull your emotions or feelings.
Using alcohol to cope with stress, depression or anxiety is a major signifier that you’re addicted to it. Some people use alcohol to help them sleep.
Either way, it’s unhealthy to mute your thoughts and feelings with liquor. As such, this is a major sign that you have an alcohol problem.
3You Lose Consciousness From Drinking
Do you remember what happened the last night you went out drinking?
If you’re wondering how to tell if you’re an alcoholic, consider the last time you blacked out. Losing consciousness or forgetting an entire night’s worth of activity is a surefire sign that you’re drinking far too much. And this is especially true if this happens often.
4Your Relationships Have Deteriorated
Alcoholism doesn’t just affect you.
Perhaps you have grown distant from your children, or you have stopped providing support to your staff. Even your coworkers may feel let down by your lack of accountability.
If anyone in your life has hinted that your drinking is hurting them, then that’s a major sign you have a drinking problem.
5You Put Drinking First
On that note, you might find yourself prioritizing drinking over everything else on your to-do list.
Perhaps drinking has affected your financial standing, or you’ve skipped out on important events because of alcohol. You might have lost your job or let your education fall by the wayside in favor of drinking.
These signs all show that you have a drinking problem. You and your well-being should come first — not booze.
Get the Help You Need
If you identify with these five signs you have a drinking problem, don’t hesitate to seek help. You can call an addiction hotline to speak to a professional, or you can research rehab centers. Don’t be afraid to ask a family member or loved one for support, too.
In the end, your health and happiness should come before alcohol. To help you feel your best, be sure to brush up on the health section of our blog.