Alcohol addiction isn’t always easy to identify at first. While many people might not think that they have a problem, they actually engage in potentially problematic drinking habits on a regular basis. Binge drinking is one example of a potential alcohol issue that sometimes even gets applauded in certain settings, such as at a college party.
Other people might drink several glasses of wine each night and make the excuse that they are doing it for their heart health. Most likely, you’ve already realized that your alcohol use has crossed a line once you are wondering if you should stop drinking alcohol or just cut back. Making the judgement call on which route to take requires some deep introspection and possibly even a professional’s help.
Look for Signs of An Alcohol Addiction
You can start right now with determining how bad your drinking problem is by looking for these common signs of an addiction.
- Drinking more than you plan on multiple occasions
- Experiencing alcohol-related work or relationship problems
- Spending vast amounts of money on alcohol
- Hiding how much you drink from loved ones
- Having alcohol poisoning or withdrawal symptoms
Get a Professional Opinion
The signs of alcohol addiction aren’t always obvious, especially if you’ve been drinking for a long time and have learned how to manage the effects. For example, you might have learned how to drink just enough to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay, so that you can function at work or social occasions. If you’ve been drinking for a long time, then you might also feel like some of your issues are normal. It can often be hard to tell if your relationship problems are caused by your drinking or other underlying issues.
Whether you have a severe or developing alcohol addiction, you’ll also want to know that the right form of treatment can vary from one person to another. Talking to an addiction treatment professional helps you to learn more about yourself and the likelihood of being able to simply cut back. During your visit with an addiction treatment counselor, they’ll ask you about your family history, drinking habits, overall health and concerns about sobriety. If you’ve tried to cut back in the past, then it might be time to try something new. Hearing a professional advise you to stop drinking alcohol completely makes it easier to take that big step towards sobriety.
View Sobriety As a Lifelong Process
The thought of quitting drinking altogether might make you wonder how you’ll function in society. After all, you might feel like you are expected to take a sip of alcohol after making a toast at a wedding. Or, your work life may depend heavily on networking events where alcohol flows freely. People who try to cut back often do so out of the fear of what they’ll miss out on if they stop drinking. The truth is that you might actually be surrounded by more people who don’t drink than you know. At many alcohol-related events, people opt not to drink, and most of the time no one notices.
If you need to fake it, then you can always order a non-alcoholic beverage and mingle like you’ve always done. You might also discover that people join you in your decision to stay sober, if you decide to open up. If you tend to drink more at home, then cutting back can be extra challenging. The temptation to enjoy a drink after handling a conflict or finishing up your household responsibilities is often strong. Depending upon your needs, it may be necessary to remove all of the alcohol from your house while you focus on sobriety.
Going to a treatment center also provides you with some space while you get strong enough to avoid bringing alcohol home. In treatment, you’ll get support for ending your alcohol addiction once and for all. Choosing to stop drinking eliminates the risk of overindulging that simply cutting back creates. Are you still trying to figure out your best method for dealing with a drinking problem? We can help you find out if you should stop or cut back. Contact us today at 844-639-8371 to get guidance on managing your drinking.