Am I An Alcoholic? Determining If You Have a Problem

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a major problem which affects millions of people across the country. In fact, over 14 million adults in the U.S. meet the criteria for an AUD and 1 in 10 children live in a home with a parent who has a drinking problem.

Am I An Alcoholic?

Alcoholism is different for everyone but you can better understand if you have a problem if you understand the definition of alcoholism: the inability to control drinking due to both physical and emotional dependence on the substance.

Alcohol use disorder will include periods of alcohol intoxication and alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol Intoxication – Alcohol intoxication occurs when the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream increases. As blood alcohol concentration increases, the more intoxicated people will become. This leads to major behavioral changes including impaired judgement, inappropriate behavior, and unstable mood swings. These problems will continue to worsen as BAC rises, eventually this can lead to coma or even death.

Alcohol Withdrawal – Alcohol withdrawal happens when heavy alcohol use is stopped or greatly reduced abruptly. These problems arise as quickly as four hours after the last drink. Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid heartbeat

Alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe. Let’s take a closer look at what constitutes alcoholism by answering a few yes or no question to see where you or your loved one may land on the list.

Am I An Alcoholic Quiz

There are 11 major symptoms associated with alcohol use disorder which can provide insight into if someone is dealing with this problem and answer the question “Am I An Alcoholic?” These questions are provided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Answering “yes” 2-3 times indicates mild AUD

Answering “yes” 4-5 times indicates moderate AUD

Answering “yes” 6+ times indicates severe AUD

11 Questions to Answer “Am I an Alcoholic?”

In the past year, have you:

  1. Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than intended?
  2. More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  3. Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
  4. Wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else?
  5. Found drinking interfered with taking care of your family, job, or school?
  6. Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
  7. Given up or cut back on activities which were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  8. More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking which increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
  9. Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
  10. Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
  11. Found when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or a seizure? Or sensed things which were not there?

If you answered “yes” to a lot of these – there is a high chance you are dealing with some sort of alcohol problem, but what do you do now?

What to Do If You’re an Alcoholic

If the question, “am I an alcoholic?” is being discussed, there are addiction professionals able to help you. While there is no specific “cure” for the disease, alcoholism is treatable.

When it comes to treating alcoholism, addiction centers are available to help you.

During your time in treatment, clients will likely go through many different forms of care which should be adjusted on a client-to-client basis, as all addictions are different and require different tools and techniques.

Oftentimes, though, these treatment options will include various evidence-based treatment methods, including things like cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication-assisted treatment.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular and effective forms of treatment to help people overcome the mental side of their addiction. Clients will learn about the triggers which cause them to use, and make efforts to rewire their thought process to avoid these future triggers.

Medication-Assisted Treatment – Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT) is a way to help clients overcome withdrawal and stay in treatment longer. While many forms of MAT medications are specifically for opioid addiction problems, there are options available for alcoholism as well, including Vivitrol for alcohol dependence.

These are just a few of the many treatment modalities people will go through during their stay at a residential facility.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are looking for help for yourself or your loved one, there are treatment options available, here are a few things you must consider when looking into alcohol rehab options.

First, you want to be sure the facility meets the criteria to be considered a quality facility. This includes:

  1. Ensuring the facility has a Gold Seal of Approval by the Joint Commission
  2. Making sure the staff is properly licensed and there are masters-level clinicians on staff
  3. The facility uses evidence-based treatment methods like MAT and CBT

Along with these, you need to decide if you think a local rehab is best or going out-of-state would be a better option. There are arguments for both sides:

Local Rehab Pros
Local rehab does not have costs associated with traveling to get to the facility. It may also make family therapy easier if you live near your relatives.

Local Rehab Cons
Alternatively, staying in the same place you’ve been struggling with addiction can make it easier to leave treatment early or be triggered by local events or people. ie: Clients who know their surroundings may easily know where to get drugs or alcohol or have friends nearby that can help them leave treatment.

Out-of-State Rehab Pros
Opting for out-of-state treatment can help jump start your commitment to recovery, help you avoid negative influences, and depending on where you live, may give you access to better treatment options and more evidence-based therapies.

Out-of-State Rehab Cons
Traveling for treatment will incur the additional costs of flights/car rides to arrive on site, and if in-person visitations or family therapy is essential for you, this may be more difficult from afar. However, many facilities offer virtual visitation or family therapy in these situations.

The Hope House Difference

If you need help, The Hope House is here for you.

The Hope House is a luxury rehab with beautiful locations in Scottsdale, Arizona staffed with addiction professionals and masters-level clinicians. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest form of care, allowing them to gain the tools and knowledge they need to become dedicated to their new sober lifestyle and avoid relapse.

If you are interested in learning more about The Hope House and what your path forward looks like, please give us a call today. Our admissions team is standing by ready to walk you through our personal treatment programs.

Overcome Alcoholism Call The Hope House Today