Facing the question of whether you have a drinking problem can be a daunting task, but it is a crucial one.
Substance abuse affects individuals of all backgrounds and is common.
Indeed, According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it is estimated that around 19.7 million adults in the United States (aged 18 or older) had a substance use disorder in the year 2020. This number represents approximately 7.7% of the adult population.
It’s important to know the key indicators of when it’s time to seek help for a drinking problem.
In this article, we will delve into the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, explore available support options, and emphasize the importance of seeking professional help.
Signs and Symptoms of Problem Drinking
As social creatures, humans often rely on alcohol to loosen up and unwind after a long day. However, what starts as just a way to de-stress can quickly spiral into a drinking problem.
Common signs and symptoms of a drinking problem may include:
- Loss of Control: Experiencing difficulties in limiting the amount of alcohol consumed or unsuccessful attempts to cut back despite the desire to do so.
- Neglecting Responsibilities: Failing to fulfill obligations at work, school, or home due to drinking or its aftereffects.
- Risky Behavior: Engaging in hazardous activities, such as driving under the influence or unsafe sexual practices, while intoxicated.
- Relationship Issues: Experiencing conflicts and problems with family, friends, or colleagues as a result of drinking.
- Tolerance and Withdrawal: Developing a need to consume more alcohol to achieve the desired effect or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is stopped or reduced.
- Preoccupation with Alcohol: Spending a significant amount of time thinking about drinking, planning when and where to drink, and recovering from its effects.
- Neglected Hobbies and Interests: Losing interest in previously enjoyable activities and hobbies in favor of drinking.
- Social Isolation: Withdrawing from social activities, friends, and family to prioritize drinking or due to embarrassment or shame associated with alcohol use.
- Physical Health Issues: Experiencing frequent hangovers, blackouts, or physical symptoms such as tremors, insomnia, or gastrointestinal problems as a result of alcohol consumption.
- Legal and Financial Consequences: Getting into legal trouble, such as DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charges or experiencing financial difficulties due to spending a significant amount of money on alcohol.
- Failed Attempts to Quit: Making repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop drinking altogether.
While the presence of certain behaviors may not necessarily indicate a substance use disorder, it’s important to pay attention to any patterns of behavior that may be cause for concern.
It’s also important to realize that the reason your drinking might be becoming problematic isn’t on this list.
If any part of you is concerned about your drinking, regardless of whether it matches a reason on the list, it may be time to seek support.
Seeking help doesn’t mean you’re weak or unable to handle the problem on your own – in fact, it takes incredible strength to acknowledge and confront a potential drinking problem.
With the right support and resources, it’s possible to regain control of your life and move forward towards a healthier, happier future.
Options for Treating Substance Abuse:
Recognizing and addressing a drinking problem can be a daunting task, but taking that first step towards recovery can lead to a better, healthier future.
Thankfully, there are several tried and tested treatment options available to those struggling with substance abuse.
It’s important to seek the guidance of a healthcare professional or addiction specialist to find the best approach for your individual needs.
Whether it be evidence-based therapy, medication-assisted treatment, or community support groups, there are resources available to help you achieve and maintain sobriety.
- Therapy and Counseling: If you are struggling with a drinking problem, it can be extremely difficult to overcome on your own. However, evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) have proven to be effective in treating substance use disorders. These therapies provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to identify and modify unhealthy thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors associated with drinking. Seeking therapy can also provide professional guidance and help develop healthier coping mechanisms.
- Support Groups: Participating in support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), can provide a sense of community and understanding. Sharing experiences and receiving support from others who have faced similar challenges can be highly beneficial during the recovery process.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help individuals manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce alcohol cravings. Medication-assisted treatment is often used in conjunction with therapy and counseling for optimal outcomes.
- Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs: For individuals with severe substance use disorders, residential treatment programs offer a structured environment with 24/7 support and supervision. These programs provide comprehensive treatment, including therapy, medical care, and relapse prevention strategies.
Seeking Help from Evergreen Counseling:
Acknowledging and addressing a drinking problem can be a difficult and emotional journey. Fortunately, our team at Evergreen Counseling is dedicated to supporting those who have taken that step. With licensed therapists with experience in substance abuse treatment, personalized care is available to you.
If you have been asking the question, “Should I be worried about my drinking?” and if you resonated with any part of this post and you’re currently looking for a therapist to support you in treating it, we would love to be of support to you.
At Evergreen Counseling, we understand the importance of finding a therapist who is a great fit.
We invite you to take the next step toward your well-being by booking a complimentary 20-minute consultation call with us.
Explore this website, reach out to us here or call us at 510-373-2723 to schedule your consultation.
Recognizing you have a problem with your drinking can feel completely overwhelming but we want to be able to support you through it.