How Do I Know I’ve Become a Problem Drinker?

If you enjoy alcohol regularly, you may be concerned about whether or not you are likely to become a problem drinker––or if you already have. If you are unsure if your drinking might or has become an issue, look for the signs below and call 800-839-1686 for help finding the best rehab center available for your needs.

What Is a Problem Drinker?

Although legal unlike most substances of abuse, alcohol can be dangerous. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Anything more than moderate drinking can be risky.” But what does it mean to be a problem drinker?

  • For the most part, people who fit this category are individuals who use alcohol heavily and often and who are experiencing issues in their lives as a result of their drinking. These issues can be
    • Professional (getting reprimanded at work, getting fired, etc.)
    • Personal (fighting with loved ones, losing relationships, etc.)
    • Financial (throwing money away on frivolous things while drunk, losing potential income, bankruptcy, etc.)
    • Legal (getting a DUI, getting arrested, jail time, etc.)
    • Physical (ulcers, liver damage, internal bleeding, cancer, etc.)
    • Psychological (intensify mental health problems, memory loss, etc.)
  • Problem drinkers are also thought of as individuals who do not fully fit into the category of alcoholism. This may be because the person is not dependent on the substance or doesn’t crave it. However, they are still experiencing issues from the fact that they drink often and in large amounts.
  • Because of the stigma attached to the term alcoholic, many people would rather refer to themselves as problem drinkers than use the more medical term. Therefore, sometimes a person can be both.

In general, though, being a problem drinker means that you have issues in your life that are being caused by your alcohol abuse. While you may not need to stop drinking entirely if you are not a full-blown alcoholic, it is important to find out if you fit into this category and then to seek help if you do.

Am I a Problem Drinker?

Problem Drinker

If your alcohol use has caused medical issues, you may be a problem drinker.

Ask yourself the questions below in order to determine if you fall into this category. If you do, you should absolutely seek some sort of treatment, as this may be the only way for you to recover safely.

  • Do you drink every day and in large amounts?
  • Has more than one important person in your life expressed concerns about your substance abuse?
  • Do you become hostile when others express concern about your alcohol intake?
  • Have you lost anyone important in your life as a result of your drinking?
  • Do you drink to escape negative feelings?
  • Have you ever tried to cut back or stop and been unable to?
  • Do you lie to your loved ones about how much you drink or the issues your alcohol use has caused?
  • Have you ever been reprimanded at work because of your substance abuse?
  • Do you notice consistent patterns with the problems in your life and how they all come back to your drinking?
  • Have you experienced any severe side effects of your alcohol use, including:
    • Getting fired from a job?
    • Getting arrested?
    • Experiencing medical issues?
    • Losing a great deal of money?
  • Despite these issues, do you not think you will be able to stop or do you not want to stop drinking?

If you found yourself answering yes to many of these questions, it is likely you are struggling with problematic alcohol abuse. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “While drinking alcohol is itself not necessarily a problem––drinking too much can cause a range of consequences, and increase your risk for a variety of problems.” Noticing that your alcohol intake is causing numerous problems in your life is a red flag letting you know that you need help, and the sooner you receive it, the easier and more successful your recovery will likely be.

Is Drinking Alone Always a Warning Sign of Alcoholism?

Seek Treatment for Alcohol Abuse Today

Even if you are not yet a full-blown alcoholic, you can seek help and begin to make changes for the better in your life. Call 800-839-1686 now. We will answer any questions you have about treatment, as well as match you with a rehab program that will suit your needs.

How Our Helpline Works

If you're seeking addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline offers a convenient and private solution to assist you. Our caring treatment advisors are ready to take your call anytime, day or night. Calls are answered 24/7 to discuss treatment and recovery options.

Your call is routed to a general helpline call center where caring admissions coordinators can help you decide what treatment option is right for yourself or for your loved one. Our helpline is NOT affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous/AA nor does AA sponsor the treatment options that are recommended when you call.

Close