If you’ve ever asked yourself the question ‘am I an alcoholic?’, this may be because you’ve noticed that you seem to be drinking more than you should be. Alcoholism is a serious condition that can wreak havoc in all areas of your life, but it’s important to recognise that with the correct professional help, it is treatable, and you can get back on track.
In this blog, we outline the signs to look out for that suggest you may be struggling with an alcohol addiction, and provide information on the alcohol rehabilitation that’s available here at Life Works.
How much alcohol is too much alcohol?
A useful first step towards finding out if you are an alcoholic is to keep track of the amount of alcohol you’re drinking on a regular basis, and then compare this with guidelines around alcohol consumption.
UK guidelines on alcohol consumption
Expert guidelines advise that men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, to reduce the risk of developing health problems as a result of their drinking habits.
So what does this equate to?
14 units of alcohol are roughly:
- 6 glasses of wine
- 6 pints of beer
- 14 25ml measures of spirits such as vodka or gin
Therefore, if you know that you regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week, this could be a sign that you’re struggling with alcohol addiction.
The CAGE test
Another step towards finding out if you are an alcoholic is a simple method known as the CAGE test. This asks four simple questions:
- Have you ever felt as though you should Cut down on your drinking?
- Have people ever Annoyed you by criticising your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your drinking?
- Have you ever experienced an ‘Eye-opener’ e.g. a drink first thing in the morning to get rid of a hangover?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, this might be another sign that you have developed a drinking problem.
Do I have a drinking problem?
In addition, knowing what to look for and being aware of the symptoms of alcohol addiction can also help you to find out if you are an alcoholic.
Do you ever find that you:
- Feel anxious or irritable if you haven’t had a drink?
- Drink as a way of relieving stress e.g. after a hard day at work?
- Neglect your personal and professional responsibilities?
- Need to have a drink to function throughout the day, or even get out of bed in the morning?
- Need to drink more alcohol than you previously did in order to feel ‘drunk’?
- Drink heavily on your own, even to the point of passing out?
- Have intense cravings for alcohol, which affect your mood and concentration?
- Act deceitfully or lie to others about the amount you’re drinking?
- Continue to drink even after it has caused problems in your life?
These are all signs that you may be struggling with alcoholism, and need expert support to help you to overcome your addiction.
Get help for your alcoholism today
If you think you may be struggling with a drinking problem, the thought of reaching out for help can be daunting. However, it really is the most important thing you can do to start your journey to recovery and wellbeing.
At Life Works, our specialist addiction rehab team are dedicated to helping you every step of the way towards achieving recovery and wellbeing.
Alcohol addiction treatment at Life Works, Surrey, offers:
- A free, no obligation addiction assessment
- Medically assisted withdrawal detoxification for your alcohol addiction, if needed
- Group therapy, family therapy and individual 1:1 therapy programmes
- A wide range of therapeutic techniques including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) informed groups, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) informed groups and mindfulness
- A high quality family programme
- Access to 12-Step support groups
- Access to free aftercare for 12 months following treatment
- Access to free family support for 12 months following treatment
If you’re worried that you may be dependent on alcohol, the good news is that this condition is entirely treatable and you don’t have to suffer in silence. Expert private addiction rehab is available at Life Works and the most crucial first step is to seek support.
This blog was reviewed by Siobhan Ward (BA(Hons) Graphic Design, MSc in Addiction Psychology and Counselling, PgDip in Addiction Psychology and Counselling), Addiction Programme Lead at Life Works.
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