The line between casual drinking and alcoholism can be a blurry one. The truth is if you are asking the question am I an alcoholic, there’s a good chance that you are. There are a lot of common stereotypes about alcoholism that further blur the lines such as the functional alcoholic. Alcohol abuse is when people drink excessively despite experiencing negative consequences, while alcoholism is a mental and physical dependence and obsession on alcohol.
Physical dependence on alcohol means you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking for any length of time. A mental dependence is when you feel a strong desire to consume alcohol in certain situations or on a regular basis. Examples might be needing to drink after an uncomfortable situation, or before doing something that stresses you out, or even needing that drink at a certain time every day or to get the party started ahead of time. These are all signs of mental dependence and when this is combined with physical dependence, it’s a sign of addiction.
Timeline of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is one of the more insidious forms of substance abuse because it can start innocently and sneak up on you. It can have you asking that question, am I an alcoholic. It’s also insidious because drinking alcohol is so widely accepted by most people and largely considered normal in most situations. The problem often starts with drinking in a certain situation, such as to help you cope with feelings or something devastating like losing your job or a loved one. When it makes you feel better, this activates the reward centers in your brain and you begin to associate drinking with a positive mood change.
The next signpost in the timeline is often tolerance, which is when you need more of something to get the effect you desire. You may find yourself drinking more without realizing it and thinking often about when you can have your next drink. At some point you may realize you have a problem and try to quit or cut back, but find yourself unable to do so.
Serious stages of alcoholism usually result in people continuing to drink despite obvious negative consequences on their health and life. They may also drink in dangerous situations such as when driving or inappropriate times like on the job.
Am I An Alcoholic — Detox Begins Alcoholism Recovery
If you’re suffering from alcoholism, the first step is to seek treatment starting with medical detox. A dedicated detox center such as Serenity House Detox in Florida can help you withdraw safely from alcohol. We offer:
- personalized detox programs
- holistic and evidence-based treatment
- a safe and comfortable setting in West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale
If you’ve asked yourself “am I an alcoholic” you may want to give Serenity House Detox a call at 866-294-5306. We have detox treatment available for many substances, including executive alcohol detox, heroin and opiate detox, meth detox. We want to help you get sober!