Do you often wake up after a night of drinking and wish that you hadn’t consumed so much alcohol, or try to remember the events of the night before? Are you ever irritable during the day and only begin to feel a sense of calm after you’ve had your first drink? Do your friends or family members constantly question your drinking choices? Have you noticed you’ve begun spending a lot of money on alcohol? If you ask yourself these questions, it may be time to examine your drinking habits to lead a healthier and more balanced life.
What Causes Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse?
While studies have revealed that genetics and heredity contribute to alcohol abuse, other things such as environment, childhood traumas, mental health factors, and family dynamics also play a role. Studies have shown that children of parents that struggle with alcohol abuse have an increased risk of alcoholism.
Children with a parent who abuses alcohol have an increased risk of abusing alcohol. The Center for Disease Control reports that more than 140,000 people in the United States die yearly from excessive alcohol abuse. When individuals begin drinking young and encounter emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, it can increase their risk of alcohol abuse. Children and adolescents diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD, depression, and other mental health disorders often begin abusing alcohol earlier. The inability to regulate emotions leads into adulthood, causing people to replace coping skills with alcohol. While these situations are more common, they do not apply to everyone that struggles with alcohol. During Covid-19, many people that never used alcohol as a coping mechanism before began to purchase and consume alcohol more regularly. While some may view excessive alcohol consumption during brief periods of their life as controlled, it is still best to evaluate your consumption and reflect on whether your drinking is under control or if you are struggling with an alcohol use disorder.
Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse: A Self-Reflection Exercise
To establish whether your drinking has become unmanageable, you can ask yourself the following questions to see how your responses rank on a mild, moderate, or severe basis. It’s best to take your time and respond honestly if you’re trying to gain perspective on where your drinking habits lie.
In the past 12 months, have you:
- Do you often consume more alcohol than you initially intended?
- Have you tried to refrain from drinking or reduc
- e your drinking amount and failed?
- Have you experienced a hangover?
- Have you stopped participating in hobbies to drinking?
- Has drinking interfered with your daily responsibilities?
- Have you ever wanted a drink so badly that you could not focus on anything else?
- Have you continued to drink even after you noticed a negative social impact?
- Have you engaged in high-risk behaviors after drinking alcohol?
- Have you found your tolerance has increased?
- Have you continued drinking even after experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety?
- Have you experienced alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as interrupted sleep, delirium tremens, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, increased heart rate, or seizures?
If you answered yes to two or more of the above questions, you might have an alcohol use disorder. The severity of your alcohol use disorder would be rated as mild if you responded yes to two or three questions, moderate if you responded yes to four or five questions, and severe if you responded yes to six or more questions. The questions rate the impact that alcohol has on your life, the amount of alcohol you consume, and the lengths you go to continue to consume alcohol. Being honest about your alcohol consumption might be challenging; however, the first step in getting treatment is admitting you need help.
When to Get Help for Alcohol Use Disorder
Once you recognize that you are no longer in control of your drinking and that alcohol has begun to impact your life negatively, it’s time to ask for help. Seeking professional help early on is the best way to navigate toward recovery. Avatar Residential Detox Center offers an alcohol detox program followed by residential treatment, allowing you to receive individual and group therapy in a supportive environment. Contact our admissions team today at 973-774-7222 and discover your path toward recovery.