Do I Abuse Alcohol? How Do I Know?
Do I abuse alcohol? For some of us this may be the most important question we ever ask ourselves. How we answer and what we do about it could have a major impact on the direction our lives take. Alcohol abuse does more than damage our health and immediate well-being. It also has a great many unseen and peripheral effects. It has been said that no man is an island. What that really means is that how we live our lives has consequences not only for us, but for the people we care about and even people who just happen to be in our proximity. It all matters. So, if you’re asking yourself, do I abuse alcohol, take that seriously. The answer is important and it’s crucial that you find a way to be as unflinchingly honest with yourself as possible. There are good reasons why one of the core tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous is rigorous honesty after all. In this article from Midwood Addiction Treatment we will do our best to help you answer this question and decide what to do next?
How Can I Tell if I Abuse Alcohol?
To an outside observer it might seem like ‘do I abuse alcohol’ is an easy question to answer. The reality is there’s more nuance to it than most people would suspect. First of all, it’s possible to be an enthusiastic social drinker without necessarily abusing alcohol, per se. Secondly, one of the biggest things people look for when trying to find red flags for alcohol addiction in themselves or someone else is consequences. But there is a problem here as well. What some people consider the consequences of alcohol abuse could just seem like business as usual to someone else, or at worst, a small price to pay for a ‘good time’. We are also very good at denying to truth to ourselves and obfuscating the facts. Our minds can play tricks on us. This is especially true where alcohol addiction is the subject at hand. Because alcohol addiction is centered in desire and the brain’s pleasure reward pathways, our subconscious mind will go to great lengths to distract us from the real consequences of alcohol abuse, minimize them or outright deny they are happening.
Do I Abuse Alcohol? Why Am I Asking Myself This?
If you’re asking, ‘do I abuse alcohol?’ then that is coming from somewhere. The chances are good that someone else has commented on your drinking. Perhaps more than one person and maybe it’s happened more than once. Or you may have recently experienced consequences of alcohol abuse that were impossible for you to deny or sweep under the rug. Whatever the reason may be, the fact that you’re asking, ‘do I abuse alcohol?’ means that you owe yourself a bit of honest self-assessment at the absolute minimum.
Here are some true or false questions you can ask to help you get to the truth:
- I often plan my evening based around what I will be drinking or where I’m drinking it. (T/F)
- Whether or not I accept an invitation somewhere is dependent on access to alcohol there. (T/F)
- I wake up feeling less than ideal due to drinking at least once a week. (T/F)
- People call me the ‘life of the party’ and I’m often the last one to finish drinking in a group. (T/F)
- I believe some people no longer invite me to some events because of my drinking. (T/F)
- I spend more than I take home in one day on alcohol and drinking every month. (T/F)
Self-Assessment: Do I Abuse Alcohol?
Here comes the answers you’re looking for. If you answered “True” to one or more of the questions above, then it is likely that you abuse alcohol. The questions above are all designed to gauge how important alcohol is to you and if you continue to drink in the face of the negative consequences. A casual social drinker who is not abusing alcohol will find it easy to answer “False” to all of the above.
So, I Believe I Abuse Alcohol. What’s Next?
If you’ve have reached the conclusion that you have a problem with alcohol, congratulations. That may sound a little odd, but this is not a time to feel defeated. This is really good news. Because you can’t hope to solve a problem until you admit it exists. You just passed an important milestone. You should also feel optimistic because the truth is there is more help out there than ever for alcohol addiction. Anyone who answers ‘Yes’ to ‘Do I abuse alcohol’ is much less alone than they would have been at any other period in history. We understand alcohol addiction better than ever and help is available. If you’re not quite sure what to do next, that’s alright. Most people don’t. That’s why we are here. Give Midwood Addiction Treatment a call at (704) 741-0771 and we will be happy to explain all of the possibilities that treatment at a Harmony Recovery Group facility can offer.