Not every drinker needs alcohol treatment. In fact, the majority of people who use alcohol do so in moderation and in a healthy manner. Even fairly heavy drinkers may not necessarily need treatment.
But, a certain percentage of the population struggles with alcohol and needs to seek help to deal with the problem. Which brings us to the BIG question…
How can you tell if you are one of the folks that would benefit from alcohol treatment?
You Drink Too Much Alcohol
This is a fairly obvious place to start. Do you seem to drink more than the people around you? Are you the guy who wants to stay at the bar for “one more round” when everyone else is ready to go home?
Long term abuse of alcohol leads to serious health problems…specifically with the liver and brain. If you drink too much for a long time you will eventually feel the effects.
Others Comment About Your Drinking
People at home will usually be the first to notice and comment on the volume of alcohol you consume. Your spouse will probably ask why you drink so much. You will probably have an explanation…if you had my problems you would drink too.
People at work may be next to notice your heavy drinking. A coworker or boss may ask about it…”why do you smell like booze every day?”
Eventually your buddies may comment on how much you drink.
When this happened to me I was very defensive. My reaction was to lash out at anyone who said anything. I didn’t want to have a problem, but I knew in my heart that I did.
Drinking Activities Consume Your Thoughts
Living the life of an active alcoholic is a lot of work. I spent a lot of time making sure my breath did not smell of booze and that my eyes were not bloodshot.
My wife didn’t know the full extent of my drinking because I hid it from her. Keeping full and empty bottles out of sight took a lot of time and energy. Not to mention that liquor is not cheap. I had to hide the expenses, which took energy.
Having Trouble At Work
Not being drunk at work was a point of pride for me. Of course, I often showed up having only had a couple of hours of sleep and hungover. To be kind…I was not at 100% effectiveness most days. During the last few months of my drinking I was in the office, but basically useless.
I was irritable and overly sensitive, which lead to conflicts. I guess the management had pity on me and transferred me around to several different departments trying to find a place where I would fit in. Of course, none of that worked because I was the problem.
You Quit Drinking But Start Again
They say that quitting is easy…it’s staying quit that is tough. Is this true of your drinking?
When I was actively drinking I quit a bunch of times. These instances of abstinence usually followed a particularly bad episode where I got really sick or made a total ass of myself. I would tell myself that “this is a good excuse to stop”.
Sometimes I lasted a day and sometimes several weeks. I would think about drinking (or not drinking) most of the time and the pressure would build. Eventually I would have a bad day at work and rush to the liquor store saying “to hell with it all” and buy a bottle. As soon as the first drink hit my belly I would feel relief wash over me.
Some drinkers need alcohol treatment, some do not. If you see yourself in any of these descriptions you may be a candidate for treatment. The fact is that normal drinkers don’t spend time worrying about their drinking.
“If you wonder if you have a problem with alcohol, then you probably do.”