Drinking is such an everyday activity that unhealthy alcohol-related behaviors are often ignored.
Even so, excessive drinking is detrimental to every aspect of your health. Alcohol can make you prone to aggressive and violent behavior. It can even lead to heart problems and reduced wellbeing for the people in your life.
You may not even realize that your alcohol use has changed you, but we guarantee that your loved ones have.
If you’re finding yourself wondering, “Do I have a drinking problem?” you may be onto something. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, as almost 30% of Americans have an alcohol use disorder. If it’s negatively affecting your life, it may be time to consider getting help.
Keep reading to find five common behaviors of people who abuse alcohol.
1. Hiding Your Drinking
One of the most significant signs of a drinking problem is when you start to hide how much you drink.
You may stop at a bar on the way home from work for a few drinks with your coworkers. Maybe you have a secret stash of beer in your garage that you dive into when you’re alone.
2. Blacking Out
Blacking out is a common side effect of binge drinking. It’s not the same as falling asleep fast after a night out.
During a blackout, you can still interact with other people. You may participate in dangerous behaviors and continue drinking without being able to recognize you’ve had too much. Blackouts can lead to many dangerous situations—driving drunk, unsafe sexual encounters, or injuries.
3. Prioritizing Drinking
Prioritizing alcohol over your responsibilities is a sign of alcohol abuse. You may not even realize that you’re letting alcohol take precedence in your life. Showing up hungover in life means you care more about drinking than being sober for life events.
Sure, you might still show up to work on time and make it to your child’s recitals. But if you’re counting down the hours until you punch out and can have a cocktail, you might have a drinking problem.
4. Struggling in Relationships
Is your drinking causing friction in your relationships?
Maybe your children are feeling alone, or you’re not able to connect with your spouse in the same way. If you’re showing up late or hungover at work, your drinking will affect your professional relationships, too.
5. Feeling Withdrawals
If you’re often drinking, you may experience withdrawal symptoms in your day-to-day life. Withdrawal happens because of the shock your nervous system experiences when your alcohol levels suddenly change.
You may notice more headaches, anxiety, sweating, shakiness, and nausea while sober.
How Can You Resolve Your Drinking Problem?
If you now realize you’re in denial about your drinking problem, it’s time to make a change. It’s never too late to get a handle on your life.
There are many alcohol treatment services at your disposal. The hardest part is recognizing the problems of addiction in yourself. Now that you see it, you can use available local resources to help you get your life on track.
Admitting you have a drinking problem is your first step to sobriety. It’s also one of the bravest things you can do for yourself.
The road to sobriety may be rife with hardships, but it’ll give you back your life. There’s nothing more rewarding than that.
Check out our Health section for more tips on creating a healthy lifestyle.