Am I an alcoholic?
Do I really have a problem? And if I do, do I need to seek help?
Like any other addiction, before an alcoholic can recover, the disease must be identified and accepted by the addict himself.
But how do you identify an alcohol addiction?
Alcohol Addiction | Identification
The CAGE questionnaire is a useful acronym commonly used to help determine whether or not someone is addicted to alcohol. The test poses four important questions dealing with a potential alcohol addiction.
- Have you ever felt you needed to Cut Down on your drinking?
- Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
- Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
Answering yes to two or more of the questions indicates that you should seek treatment at a rehab centre.
Addicts also exhibit many symptoms that indicate an addiction problem. Common symptoms include: 1
- Secretive sips: Remember when your parents or a teacher told you not to do something, and you did it anyways? Would you do it in front of them, or wait until they weren’t looking? I would wait until they looked away. Similarly, alcoholics desperately wait till those who care aren’t looking, and take a drink. Secretive drinking also demonstrates the addict’s hostility towards being confronted about their problem.
- They can’t control how much they drink: When you, or someone you know, goes out to have a drink, is only having one beer or glass of wine near impossible? Not being able to control the amount of alcohol you consume is a definite symptom of addiction.
- Getting frustrated when you can’t have a drink: When alcohol is woven into the fabric of your daily or weekly routines, frustration can easily set in when your drinking habits are disrupted.
- Legal issues: Whenever the law or government becomes involved in the alcohol problem, typically you’re dealing with a real addiction issue.
Identification is only the first step towards recovery. Once the addict has identified the issue, he then must accept the harsh facts of the addiction.
Alcohol Addiction | Denial
Often the biggest obstacle you have to hurdle before you can begin to recover from an alcohol addiction is denial.
Denial is the road block that addicts hit again and again—preventing them from starting down a road to recovery. No one wants to admit he has an addiction, so instead of admitting, he ignores or minimizes the consequences of his problem.
Addicts in denial refuse to acknowledge the issue, and because of their chosen ignorance, they don’t understand what their addiction is doing to them or to those around them.
Signs of denial include:
- When addicts constantly make excuses that somehow justify their addiction.
- When addicts promise never to drink again, and then break that promise.
- An irresponsible lifestyle that constantly shifts responsibility.
Remember, denial is what keeps addicts going; and until they accept their addiction for what it really is, the road to recovery will be blocked.
I’m an Alcoholic. What should I do?
Once you’ve identified and accepted your addiction the next step is finding help. Never hesitate to ask—people want to see you healed.
As an addict, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to defeat addiction on your own. Seeking treatment at a De-Addiction Centre, or help from a loved one is far more powerful than depending on your own will-power to remove addiction from your life.
There are over 150 De-Addiction Centres listed on this site that offer programs specifically for those addicted to alcohol.
Find a centre close to you, and begin down your path to recovery today!