Do I Have a Drinking Problem? A Template for Identifying Alcohol Dependency

By Michaela

It’s almost universally agreed upon that an alcohol dependency can have negative impacts on your life. However, what is less agreed upon is what actually constitutes an alcohol dependency or drinking problem.

If you think you might have an alcohol dependency, you may benefit from having a template that you can work through to establish whether you might have a drinking problem.

The most important step to solving an alcohol dependency is identifying it. So, follow along with The Alcohol Coach to learn more about how alcohol dependency is identified and what the next steps should be for anybody that is working through alcohol dependency.

Definition of Alcohol Dependence

Knowing the definition of alcohol dependency is not the same as knowing how to determine whether you have it, but it’s a start. Knowing how the broader community defines alcohol dependency could be helpful in giving you the tools you need to overcome alcohol dependency.

Overview of Warning Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Dependency or Alcohol Abuse

Now that you know a bit more about how alcohol dependency is typically defined by experts and the community, let’s talk about what some of the warning signs and symptoms are of someone that has alcohol dependency. Knowing these can help you to identify alcohol dependency or alcohol use disorder faster and thus, treat it with your chosen method sooner.

In this section, we are going to take a look at what some of the common warning signs are and what category they fit into.

Physiological Signs

  1. Increasing tolerance to alcohol, resulting in needing more and more to get the same effect
  2. Withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating and nausea when not drinking
  3. Increased need for alcohol, drinking more or for a longer period of time than you intended

Psychological Signs

  1. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that previously provided pleasure & gratification
  2. Worsening depression or anxiety
  3. Change in sleeping habits

Social Signs

  1. Experiencing relational conflict as a result of the need to drink alcohol and conventional “alcohol addiction”
  2. Pursuing activities with others who drink excessively and making bad drinking habits or binge drinking your sole recreational activity

Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Dependency

Separate from the actual symptoms and side effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism that you might feel if you have a dependency on alcohol is the diagnostic criteria from the APA. This will give you some medical insight into what healthcare professionals are looking for when they evaluate someone for alcohol dependency or a problem with alcohol use.

Diagnostic criteria according to the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5:

  1. Increase in the amount of alcohol consumed over time
  2. Difficulty controlling drinking once started (having a problem drinking too much)
  3. Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  4. Unsuccessful attempts to reduce or abstain from drinking
  5. Spending increasing amounts of time obtaining and using alcohol
  6. Ongoing use despite negative physical & psychological consequences

Other Criteria Used by Medical Professionals

The APA is not the only institution that has guidelines for evaluating individuals for alcohol dependency. Here are some guidelines that are used by other health professionals around the glove.

  1. Engaging in risky behaviors while intoxicated
  2. Experiencing health problems related to drinking
  3. Neglecting responsibilities at work, home or school due to excessive alcohol intake

Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Determine if you Have an Alcohol Dependency

Sometimes, it may be useful to have a bit of a conversation with yourself to determine if you have an alcohol dependency. This requires asking yourself questions that may be difficult to answer honestly.

  • Do you find yourself drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol?
  • Have you ever tried to reduce or stop drinking and been unsuccessful?
  • Has anyone expressed concern over how much or often you drink?

These are just a few questions that could help you determine if you have an alcohol dependency. If you answer yes to any of these, or if you feel like alcohol is taking over your life, it is important that you seek help from a professional.

FAQs About Alcohol Dependency

What is considered alcohol dependency?

Alcohol dependency is defined as having a physical or psychological need for alcohol and an inability to control its use. It is considered a severe form of alcohol abuse and can lead to many physical and mental health complications. Being able to ‘control’ it sometimes when you really, really try isn’t a get out clause here. Ultimately, if you are reading this, it is highly likely that you have a problem with alcohol and however that is labelled, it needs fixing.

Are there any treatments available for people with alcohol dependency?

Yes, there are several treatments available for people with alcohol dependency. These include medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle changes. Depending on the individual’s situation, a combination of these treatments may be necessary.

Are there any warning signs of alcohol dependency?

Yes, some of the common warning signs of alcohol dependency include increasing tolerance to alcohol, withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, increased need for alcohol and drinking more than intended. Other warning signs include changes in sleeping habits, neglecting responsibilities due to excessive drinking, engaging in risky behaviors while intoxicated, and experiencing health problems related to drinking.

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Is there any way to prevent alcohol dependency?

Yes, the most effective way to prevent alcohol dependency is to avoid drinking altogether. However, if you do decide to drink, it is important to be aware of your limits and not exceed them. Additionally, it is important to seek help if you start having difficulty controlling your drinking or experience any of the warning signs of alcohol dependency mentioned above.

Solving Alcohol Dependency Through Positivity, Motivation, & Self-Empowerment

If you feel that, after going through the evaluation criteria, you certainly have an alcohol dependency, then it is definitely in your best interest to work with The Alcohol Coach to solve your alcohol dependency. The Alcohol Coach works with individuals to solve alcohol dependency gradually through a tested and proven program that focuses on positivity and empowerment instead of labels and shame.

In this way, individuals that go through the program are able to enjoy a higher degree of success than other programs due to their increased willingness to continue with the program.

Let’s Recap

Alcohol dependency is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and warning signs so that you can seek help if necessary. There are several treatments available, including medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle changes. Additionally, The Alcohol Coach works with individuals to solve alcohol dependency gradually through a tested and proven program. With the right help, it is possible to solve alcohol dependency and take back control of your life.

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Hi, I'm Michela

I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!

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