Alcohol abuse is one of the most significant health issues in the United States. Researchers estimate around 17 million people in America who have some kind of alcohol related disorder, and without proper steps this number could grow even higher. However, it can often be difficult to make a distinction between a social drinker and someone who needs to seek help. So how do you know when it is time to advise someone to seek help for alcoholism?

Signs That You May Need to Seek Help for Alcoholism

There are a few warning signs of alcoholism. Each individual case has its own set of circumstances that makes each and every situation unique, so by no means try this as a definitive checklist. If in doubt, seek professional help.

You Find Yourself Drinking More or Longer Than You Expected

You had a long day at work and plop onto the couch with one of your favorite beers. It is just one so it shouldn’t be an issue. One quickly becomes two, which quickly becomes four, and before you know it you wake up the next day with a blinding headache. If a simple drink quickly escalates into a bender on a regular basis, it may be time to seek help.

You Tried to Cut Down on Drinking Alcohol and Couldn’t

There is nothing wrong with trying and failing. If you have tried multiple times to stop drinking without assistance and have failed, it is time to seek outside help. Trying to quit is acknowledging you have a problem, which is half of the struggle. However, if you try and fail multiple time, there is no shame in getting a helping hand.

You Spend a Lot of Time Abusing Alcohol or Feeling the Effects

If you find your life and schedule revolve around drinking, you may be addicted to alcohol and should seek help. Alcohol consumption should be a minor part of your life, not the driving force of everything you do. If you spend every night abusing alcohol and every morning hungover, it is time to get help for your alcohol abuse issues.

You Experience a Craving or Urge to Drink Alcohol

It is not normal to constantly be craving a drink. Sure, after a long day in the office you may have the urge to grab a beer and unwind, but if that craving is a constant nag on you it is time to get help for alcoholism.

Drinking Can Interfere with Caring for Your Family, Friends, Self and Work

Is alcohol getting in the way of caring for the things that are important to you? If you find yourself shirking the responsibilities of your job, family, friends and self you have an alcohol issue. This can mean avoiding phone calls, events, neglecting personal hygiene and nutrition, and showing up to work in no condition to be productive.

You Continue Abusing Alcohol Even If It Causes Issues with Family and Friends

This goes hand in hand with the entry above. If you are constantly fighting and avoiding your family and friends because they get on you about your alcohol problem, you should seek help. Your friends and family only want what is best for you, so the issues and quarrels you get into with them are indicative of the larger alcohol issues you have.

Alcohol Causes You to Cut Back or Quit Activities That Are Important to You

All of your life you have been a sports nut. You love going outside, feeling the sun on your skin, and being active. However, recently days of sunshine and exercise has morphed into hours in dimly lit bars with a cocktail. If your lifestyle has been dramatically altered by drinking alcohol, seek assistance for alcoholism.

Drinking Alcohol Has Increased Your Risk of Getting Hurt

Alcoholics constantly have nicks, bruises, cuts or possibly more serious issues. The state of constant inebriation they find themselves in leads to falls, bumps and other health issues that a sober person can easily avoid. If you find yourself always nursing some kind of injury brought about during a drunken stupor, you need to seek help to stop abusing alcohol.

You Continue to Drink Alcohol Even Though It Is Causing Mental and Physical Issues

Alcoholism is a dark ailment. It is colored by depression and anxiety. The sad part is many of these emotions are brought about by drinking, yet people with alcohol issues think the only way to feel better is to drink. It is a vicious cycle. If you find yourself constantly having mental and physical issues from alcohol abuse and continue to drink, you may be an alcoholic and need help.

You Have to Drink Much More Alcohol to Get the Effect You Want

Alcohol tolerance is when you need to drink more alcohol to get the very same effects. Alcoholics are constantly consuming alcohol, so over time the amount of alcohol needed to get inebriated climbs higher and higher. If you find your tolerance has gotten unreasonably high, you may have a drinking problem and should seek help.

When You Stop Drinking Alcohol You Begin to Get Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms is when your body thinks that being drunk is your normal state, and when you are not drunk it begins to feel sick until it gets more alcohol in it. Some common withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, nausea, irritability, the “shakes”, restlessness, and sweating. If you find yourself feeling some or all of these symptoms when you have not been drinking, it is time to seek help for alcoholism.