The questions, “Am I an alcoholic?” or “Do I have a drinking problem?” are what you may find yourself asking if you drink frequently or are beginning to suffer setbacks because of your regular use of alcohol. Anyone who has concerns about their alcohol use is considered to, in all likelihood, have a drinking problem; however, this does not necessarily make you an alcoholic who needs an alcohol addiction treatment program. But, if you believe that you or someone important in your life may be suffering from an alcohol use disorder, contact Liberty Health Services online or call us at 855.959.4521 today to learn about our alcohol addiction treatment program.
What Does it Mean to Be an Alcoholic?
For most adults, moderate drinking is usually not a reason you would need to be concerned. However, when your consumption of alcohol has begun to spin out of control, you may find yourself on a one-way road heading toward addiction.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of each stage of alcoholism is crucial because it allows you to see a problem in yourself or a loved one. If you recognize any of these stages, spending time in an alcohol detox center may be necessary to begin recovery.
Occasional Alcohol Abuse and Binge Drinking
The first stage of alcoholism is when you experiment with using alcohol, often in adolescence. At this point, you are new to drinking or are using different forms of alcohol and testing your limits. Unfortunately, experimental drinkers will sometimes engage in binge drinking, consuming substantial quantities of alcohol at one time while not actually drinking regularly.
Increased Alcohol Consumption
When your alcohol consumption becomes more frequent, you are no longer experimenting. Instead, drinking alcohol is now a regular part of your life and routine.
Increased alcohol consumption may lead you to think that you need to drink:
- As an excuse to get together with friends
- To feel good or normal
- To reduce stress from work or family life
- Because you are bored and have nothing else to do
- To self medicate
- Because there is an event on TV
- To cope with feelings of sadness or loneliness
Whereas a moderate drinker may have a glass of wine to enhance the flavor of a meal, a regular drinker will feel the need to drink to feel good. As increased drinking continues, you are becoming more dependent on alcohol and are at risk of developing alcoholism.
In this stage of being an alcoholic, your frequent and uncontrolled alcohol abuse is becoming a bigger problem in your life at home, school, and work. The term “problem drinker” refers to someone who has now begun to feel the impact of their drinking habit. At this point, you may be:
- Losing sleep
- Feeling sick
- Getting into legal troubles
Believe it or not, it is considered possible for someone to be dependent on alcohol but not yet addicted to alcohol. Alcohol dependence also means that you have developed a tolerance to drinking, requiring more and more alcohol to feel its effect on your body and mind. If this sounds terrifyingly familiar, there is still time to seek help before becoming an addict or alcoholic.
The alcohol addiction treatment program in New Hampshire at Liberty Health can help you detox and get clean today. Our medically supervised alcohol detox will help you safely withdraw and guide you toward long-term recovery. It is crucial to have professional and compassionate help because another characteristic of dependence is withdrawal from alcohol when you don’t drink.
Addiction and Alcoholism
The final stage of alcoholism is addiction. At this stage, the answer to the question, “Am I an alcoholic?” is a definite yes. This is because drinking isn’t even about pleasure or a buzz anymore. Instead, you have developed a physical and psychological need to drink.
Sadly, alcoholics may begin using other drugs or substances to feel pleasure since alcohol no longer provides the same joyful experience as during the earlier stages. But there is help, no matter where along this timeline you are.
Begin Your Recovery from Alcohol Addiction at Liberty Health Services
If you or someone you care about is drinking to excess, learn how Liberty Health’s substance abuse treatment program can be the first step toward recovery. Contact us using our secure online form or call us at 855.959.4521 today.