Alcohol abuse is a very serious issue all over the world, especially here in the United States of America. As of lately, no age group is immune to alcohol abuse. You hear on the news that toddlers and young kids are accidentally being served alcoholic beverages at restaurants. You hear of high school students and college students dying of alcohol poisoning. You hear of drunk driving accidents that lead to the deaths of innocent people and families. The point to this is that alcohol is everywhere and is being abused while thousands of Americans die every year. As a culture, we have been somewhat desensitized to the new lines of people dying from alcohol abuse every day. As we become desensitized to alcohol abuse, we start to believe that this is normal, that people of all ages will die from alcohol abuse on a daily basis. It does not have to be this way. We, as Americans, can stand up to this epidemic. You may ask: How do we stand up and change this problem? The answer is: We work together. We educate ourselves and everyone around us on this issue, as well as how to identify if someone has a drinking problem. These are just the first steps we take. There are many solutions in progress right now that will help us stand up to this horrible epidemic. Let’s focus on one of the first steps in education: identifying the issue.
How to Identify if You or Someone You Know Has a Drinking Problem
Some people may think that sounds crazy, that it should be blatantly obvious if someone has a drinking problem. Well, sometimes it is not as obvious as you would think. Functioning alcoholics can go years, even a lifetime without being detected. The difference between an alcoholic and a functioning alcoholic is that a functioning alcoholic can still maintain a responsible lifestyle. They go to work, help their kids with homework, pay their bills, and perform other responsible tasks throughout the day, but alcohol remains on their mind constantly. Functioning alcoholics go to great lengths to disguise their problem, including drinking by themselves or planning their day around drinking alcohol.
Another reason for identifying if someone close to you has a drinking problem is just that: they are too close to you. You cannot see the problem because you are in denial and making excuses for them. Some family members may know there is a problem, but refuse to admit it, because they believe they will be blamed or called parents for letting their child become an alcoholic. Another reason some people may find alcohol abuse hard to identify is that they think there is no clear definition of what drinking too much is. While alcohol processes differently in people, the Mayo Clinic has laid out a basic guideline to judge if you are at risk for alcohol abuse. The Mayo Clinic states females who have more than 3 drinks a day or 7 a week are at risk drinkers. For males, if they drink 4 a day or 14 a week, they are at risk. Drinking more than the weekly or daily amount puts you at risk. Other factors to identify a drinking problem are:
- A feeling of needing alcohol to get through the day
- Drinking at odd hours of the day, drinking in the morning
- Personality changes, a shy individual becoming outgoing after drinking
- Blacking out during drinking
- No recollection of what happened when drinking
- Missing out on work, school, or other responsibilities
- Getting angry when confronted about drinking habits
- Inability to stop drinking once starting
Identified the Problem….. What’s Next?
Admitting there is a problem is the first and hardest step. Let your next step be easy. Call us now at 888-374-3252. At USA Addiction we work with treatment centers across the nation and take pride in placing individuals in the center that fits the treatment they need.