At the beginning of every month I receive a story list as a freelance writer for Madame Noire. This month one of the topics was alcoholism and it shocked the hell out of me. It hit close to home. Not because I’m some raving alcoholic but a few months ago my drinking exploits had become so commonplace that I started looking up quizzes on the internet and talking to people about alcoholism because I was concerned that I might have a problem. Honestly, it was less me thinking I had a problem and more about judgments other people were projecting onto me and my friends. After some much needed reflection I started asking myself the hard questions about my “fun”. What I learned was that I wasn’t an alcoholic per say but I did abuse alcohol at times, usually on the weekend.
You hear about binge drinking all the time in college but if you’re not in a white fraternity somewhere having 24 hour drinking sessions and passing out in your own vomit you don’t think the rules apply to you. So below, I’ve compiled a list of alcoholism symptoms for you to check out just in case someone you know is abusing alcohol or is in fact suffering from alcoholism. Most importantly if you or someone you know has a dependency on alcohol, it’s best to find professional help for yourself/friend or find a supportive circle because you never know the demons people are dealing with.
Let’s take a look at some signs of alcoholism via Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Help’s website:
- Preoccupation or Craving: Spending large amounts of time thinking about your next drink
- Increased Tolerance: Needing more to get the same effect
- Continued Use: Inability to reduce/stop your intake despite progressively damaging consequences
- Withdrawal Symptoms: Like the shakes or nausea and need a drink just to get to ‘normal’ again
- Drink Alone: Often drink secretively to avoid getting caught drinking and to avoid suspicion
- Regular Blackouts
- Hide your Supply: Always have alcohol available, often on you, just ‘in case’ you need some
- Find an Excuse to Drink: You’ll always be able to justify having a drink, e.g. ‘I’ve had a bad day, I’m stressed out … or any other ‘creative’ reason
- Failed Promises: Have promised on more than one occasion (even to yourself) that you’ll cut down or quit without being able to
- Family and Friends Avoided: Often don’t want to do things and spend time with the people you usually do – becoming vague and distant [Source]