Drinking Problem: Alcoholism Symptoms & Signs

Ask yourself, are there times when you drank more than you intended? Are there times when you did not do what you were meant to do, and alcohol was involved? Do you feel that you need to defend your drinking? Does drinking take the place of other interests? Does your drinking sometimes lead to conflict? Do you sometimes feel guilty about your drinking?

You are here: Home / Drinking Problem: Alcoholism Symptoms & Signs

Drinking Problem: Alcoholism Symptoms & Signs

When we think about alcohol problems we tend to think about alcoholism. Most of us have the picture of the hopeless drunk that can’t leave alcohol alone, that taking one drink leads an uncontrollable urge to get royally drunk. There is the famous line from the archetypal alcoholism movie - The Lost Weekend - where the alcoholic (played by Ray Milland) says to the barman “I just want one drink” and the barman replies “One drink is too many and a hundred is not enough”. This stereotypical view of the alcoholic has prevented many people from getting help over the years. They reason - I don’t look, act, behave, drink like that, so how could I be an alcoholic?

The truth is that most people who have a problem with their drinking are not like that either. Estimates about how many people have alcohol problems vary, and vary enormously. The estimates are highly dependent on the definition used. If we are looking at the high end drunk that we would normally think of as an alcoholic, then estimates are around 1-5%. If instead we are looking at people who are, or appear to be, functioning but drink a bit much, then we could be talking as high as 25%. Somewhere in between lies the majority of drinking problems.


So how do I know if I have a drinking problem?

 

A very simple way to get an answer to that question is to ask your friends and significant other. In fact, they may have been telling you this for years but you keep pointing to the fact that you function well enough and you are not like the drunk described above. You can take it or leave it anytime you please. Ok, so you drink a bit more than you should sometimes – but so what, you work hard and you play hard. Nothing wrong with that is there! You are quite right, there is nothing wrong with that, unless ......

Ask yourself, are there times when you drank more than you intended? Are there times when you did not do what you were meant to do, and alcohol was involved? Do you feel that you need to defend your drinking? Does drinking take the place of other interests? Does your drinking sometimes lead to conflict? Do you sometimes feel guilty about your drinking?

Drinking problems come in many shapes and forms. There is no need for them to fit into a neat package or diagnosis. There are clinical definitions of Alcohol Dependency and Alcohol Abuse. However if your drinking means that you can answer - yes - to any of the above questions then it may be worth taking the free assessment on the website. At least it might give you an answer to the question “am I an alcoholic?”.