Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, but there are plenty of alcoholics who have no idea that they are struggling with the disease. The thought might cross their minds occasionally, but they shrug it off and go about their lives. Alcoholism affects millions of people in various ways. The disease is progressive and can take an ordinarily happy individual and turn them into a miserable, lonely, angry person.

If you’re wondering if you are struggling with alcoholism or if you think a loved one is, here are ten red flags when it comes to the disease:

  1. You think about drinking a lot and tend to drink much more than you used to. You begin to base your life around alcohol, parties, etc.
  2. When you get angry, stressed, fearful, etc., you reach for a drink to cope with the negative emotion. Even though you think the alcohol will make you feel better, you end up feeling worse.
  3. When confronted about how much or often you drink, you become angry and defensive.
  4. You begin hiding alcohol and lying about home much or how often you drink.
  5. You promise yourself and others that you will not drink anymore. You assure them you are done, yet you find yourself drinking again despite adverse consequences.
  6. Your drinking gets you into trouble with the law, such as committing a crime while intoxicated, getting DWI, assaulting someone, etc.
  7. Your relationship or marriage is suffering because of your drinking. Your partner comes to you concerned, and you shrug it off or become defensive or angry.
  8. You crave alcohol immensely when you try to stop drinking. You may even have withdrawal symptoms like sweating, anxiousness, nausea, and more.
  9. You do your best to have a few social drinks but have difficulty stopping at a few and going overboard regularly. You may even have blackouts.
  10. You begin to wonder if you have a problem with alcohol and sometimes think about reaching out for help to stop drinking.

If some of these resonate with you, you could struggle with alcoholism. It might be challenging to admit that you have a problem, but in doing so, you can accept it and plan on beginning a recovery journey. If you think you have such a problem, reach out for help via a substance abuse counselor, a detox or rehab center, or a 12 Step group.

You can learn a lot about the disease of addiction and how to live your life without allowing it to control you. There are substance abuse professionals ready and willing to assist you with the condition of alcoholism, and there is hope for a life free from such bondage. Take an honest look at your drinking patterns and decide today to make a change for a better future alcohol-free.

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