Five warning signs you have a drinking problem
Drinking problems are all around us. Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. Regardless of whether drinking problems are causing issues at home or at work, we want to encourage you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.
Folks who suffer from alcoholism are not necessarily walking drunks. The warning signs can be subtle but the outcomes can be just as dangerous and damaging.
Here are five warning signs you or someone you love has a drinking problem.
- Getting drunk alone. Commonly overlooked, getting drunk alone is an absolute red flag that you may have a problem. Drinking should be social. When you are drinking alone, it’s likely you’re using it as a coping mechanism which is bad news.
- Missing work or cancelling plans with friends. Whether it’s because you’re under the influence or recovering, alcohol should never get in the way of daily activities. If your drinking is becoming a choice over plans with family and friends it’s time to consider your priorities and get some help.
- Lying about drinking. If at some time or another you’ve lied about how much you’ve consumed or how often you consume it’s a likely you’ve got a problem. Consider why you’re lying about it. Is it because you’re ashamed? Is it because you know you’ll be in trouble or is it because you’ve failed on a commitment. Either way, these are huge warning signs.
- Failing to quit. People often make decisions to reduce or stop drinking either for a period of time or forever. Failing to stop drinking once you’ve made that decision should be a cause for concern.
- Hiding alcohol. If you’ve ever hidden full or empty bottles of alcohol to avoid being caught by loved ones, it’s time to really think about getting help. The same goes for sneaking alcohol into non-alcoholic beverages to avoid getting caught. This is a sign you’re highly dependent on alcohol.
If one or all of these apply to you or someone you know, please consider talking to someone. Both Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon sites include ways to find local chapters where you can seek help. Also seek out some of your local resources for alcoholism, chemical dependency, and drug abuse. You may also consider talking with a therapist or someone at your church. All of these resources are steps in the right direction.