How to Spot the Signs of a Drinking Problem

Many people wonder how to spot the signs of a drinking problem. Whether it is the family of a possible alcoholic, or the person that is doing the drinking, some people need confirmation. Who wants to think they are married to an alcoholic, and what person wants to think they personally might be an alcoholic. Being an alcoholic conjures up pictures of the bum in the street. It makes us think of spending time in jail. Maybe there are multiple DUI’s. Some people lose their license and have to attend classes to get it back. Sometimes there are no obvious problems at all.

Here are some signs of a possible drinking problem:

  • Having to drink every day.
  • Seeing change of behavior and attitudes in someone.
  • Missing time from work.
  • Wanting to spend more time drinking alone
  • Drinking becomes your primary thought
  • Distancing your self from friends and family, especially if they are questioning your drinking.

Alcoholics Anonymous has a questionnaire in the beginning of their meeting book. If you answer yes to so many questions, you might have a drinking problem. I am pretty sure I answered yes to most of them. I remember laughing at the time, now it’s not so funny.

All of the above signs are helpful. However, what I have learned is that “normal” people don’t ever wonder if they are an alcoholic. They never think about taking the questionnaire in the meeting book of AA. If they do miss time from work, it is only occasionally. Some people may even have a few beers at the end of everyday. Sometimes they may even get drunk, but the only remorse they feel is the hangover. My mother used to have a screwdriver (orange juice and vodka) every night. One day she decided that she didn’t like the idea that she drank every night and she just stopped. Alcoholics can’t just stop. Alcoholics aren’t usually honest with themselves about anything. Denial is a comfortable place for them to live until it’s not comfortable anymore. However, sometimes alcoholics have moments of clarity and they know they have a problem with alcohol. Then the fear sets in and they are back to denial. I believe that if the family and the possible alcoholic think there is a problem that may be the only sign or test they need to take.

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