Early Signs of Alcoholism: How To Quickly Check Yourself
Different warning signs help identify potential alcohol problems, and timely prevent them from evolving into severe diseases. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol use disorder – the inability to control or stop alcohol use despite the adverse consequences it entails – can be mild, moderate, or severe.
The mild stage can be easily overlooked, as it may appear as a minor issue or no issue at all. But, in fact, if you come to ask yourself whether you should stop drinking or cut it back – it is already a sign, alerting you to do so.
This article will find more information about early warning signs of alcoholism and which tests will help you check yourself. This knowledge will also be helpful if you are worried about someone else’s relationship with alcohol.
Stages of Alcohol Use Disorder
To not overlook alcoholism at its early stage and prevent it from evolving into a severe drinking problem, it is crucial to know which signs you should pay attention to. The first stage of alcohol use disorder is known as the mild form. It manifests itself through the following signs:
- Drinking often leads to conflicts with friends and family members.
- Consuming alcohol daily.
- Feelings of guilt or embarrassment after drinking.
- Attempts to cut back on drinking without success.
- Spending more time with people who drink and less with sober people.
- Becoming defensive when someone asks you to quit or cut back on drinking.
- Drinking despite health issues.
The second stage of this disease is known as moderate and is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Drinking and driving.
- Not being able to remember what happened while drinking.
- Being unable to limit drinking even when someone else asks you to do so.
- Repeatedly missing work, classes, or other activities because of drinking.
- Increased risk of health problems due to alcohol consumption, such as hypertension, stroke, heart failure, liver disease, and cancer.
If you notice that any of these signs are present in your life or your loved ones’ or friends’ lives, it is time to seek professional help (you can visit the website for more information on alcohol addiction treatment).
How To Check Yourself For Alcohol Abuse
You can perform the following tests to identify yourself as alcohol-dependent:
Examine Your Drinking Habits
Take a good look at your drinking habits and how much you drink in a week. Do you have problems controlling yourself when you are drinking? If yes, then you may have an alcohol abuse problem.
For example, if you tend to drink more during weekends or holidays, right before bedtime, or first thing in the morning, it can sign an alcohol abuse problem. Try not to drink on the days when your body needs a rest. Give your body some time to heal from the damage done by alcohol abuse and try to consume it less than before. Recheck yourself after a few weeks and see if there are positive changes in your health.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you frequently drink alone or late at night?
- Do you find yourself drinking more than you planned to?
- Do you ever drink to forget your problems?
- Do you think of drinking first thing in the morning?
- Do you plan your day around drinking?
- Do you feel bad when you do not drink?
- Do you ever drink until you get drunk?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is time to start cutting back on drinking.
Check Your Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) Score
The AUDIT score is a questionnaire that helps determine whether someone has an alcohol-related problem. It consists of 10 questions that help check whether someone has been drinking too much, too often, or too quickly. The higher the score, the more likely it is to be an indication of alcohol dependence. It is recommended to repeat this test every year to ensure no changes in your drinking habits.
Ask Your Closed Ones for an Opinion
Sometimes, our loved ones are the first ones to notice our drinking problem. If they are concerned about your drinking habit, ask yourself the following question: if my friends and family members are worried about my drinking, why should I ignore their concern?
Check Yourself For Signs of Alcohol Abuse
You need to know the warning signs of alcohol abuse so that you can check yourself for potential alcohol use disorder. The following list of warning signs can help you identify whether you have an alcohol use disorder:
- Experiencing frequent blackouts or memory losses.
- Repeatedly being sick with vomiting or nausea after drinking.
- Having a feeling of constantly needing a drink.
- Needing more and more alcohol to get drunk.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you decide to stop drinking.
- Becoming angry when someone asks you to stop drinking.
- Trying to quit drinking on your own but failing several times.
- Feeling bad about yourself because of your drinking habit.
- Finding yourself drinking alone most of the time.
- Drinking regularly during weekdays and/or weekends.
- Frequent drinking and driving despite knowing the dangers of it.
- Being unable to resist the urge to drink even though you know it is causing problems in your life.
Early Signs of Alcoholism: Conclusion
It is easy to overlook the presence of alcohol problems at an early stage, as some of the signs may seem too ordinary to pay particular attention to them – such as feeling bad about yourself after drinking or experiencing a hangover. However, you will prevent alcohol use disorder from developing to the severe stage if you will be mindful of those signs and get professional help.
Several simple tools can help you examine yourself for signs of alcohol dependency – from self-reflecting on your drinking habits to taking special tests and questionnaires that help you determine whether you have an alcohol-related problem and the severity of it. Checking yourself once a year is a great preventative measure against alcohol use disorder.