Many people have misconceptions about the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Some believe in error that a person has a problem with alcohol only if he or she is drinking all day, every day–and in large quantities. They may also believe in error that an ability to function during the week–hold down a job or go to school–also indicates the absence of a problem.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s true that an alcoholic in the later stages of the disease may be less and less able to function, may consume large quantities of alcohol and may have difficulty getting through a day without it. However in the early stages of alcoholism, quantity, frequency, and ability to function are not reliable indicators of a problem or lack thereof.
In fact, the need for recovery and rehabilitation from alcoholism and alcohol abuse is often determined by the relative consequences of drinking in an individual’s life, rather than the actual quantity of alcohol being consumed, frequency of drinking or ability to function.
Consider the following questions about your drinking habits:
- Do you find yourself drinking more than you intend to drink, regardless of how little or how much?
- Do you often regret things you do or say while drinking?
- Have you ever had legal troubles because of drinking?
- Do those around you complain about your behavior when you drink?
- Do you ever experience memory loss or blackouts when drinking?
- Has a doctor told you to stop drinking because of specific health risks, yet you continue to drink?
- Have you ever missed work, school or other commitments because of your drinking?
Answering yes to even one of these questions indicates that alcohol abuse is taking place, and you may be suffering from alcoholism. Experiencing negative consequences because of alcohol consumption is a sure sign of alcohol abuse and a drinking problem. A person’s ability to hold down a job or go days without drinking does not necessarily indicate an absence of alcohol abuse and doesn’t necessarily exclude the need for treatment.
If you believe you or your loved one may have a problem with alcohol, don’t put off treatment another day. Mt. Regis–an addiction treatment facility–offers a free, confidential mental health and addiction assessment over the phone. A trained clinician is available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (702) 646-5000 or toll-free (877) 774-4557.