Alcohol Abuse Rehabilitation and Treatment Center

Am I an Alcoholic

The question asked by many who think they might have a drinking problem is “Am I an alcoholic?”. The definition of ‘alcoholic’ based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010 is a person addicted to intoxicating drinks. The definition for ‘intoxicating’ is causing or capable of causing intoxication: intoxicating beverages. Now, ‘intoxicate” is defined as to affect temporarily with diminished physical and mental control by means of alcoholic liquor, a drug, or another substance, esp. to excite or stupefy with liquor.  

Per the above definitions an alcoholic would be a person who cannot stop drinking alcohol to the point where they are diminished both mentally and physically. So a person who has an after dinner drink every night but does not lose control probably would not classify themselves as an alcoholic.  

On the other hand a person who joins friends, co-workers for an after work drink and cannot stop themselves after one or two drinks and continues to drink when others have stopped might need to stop and take a look at themselves.

Are they just out for the night and planning on getting drunk or is this a regular occurrence? Do they stay after others have gone home for the night and continue to drink? These are usually pretty good indicators the person has an alcohol abuse issue and needs to look at closely before going into full blown alcoholism.

The early alcoholic may have just discovered alcohol; however they are probably unable to control the amount of alcohol taken. These people may also experience a definite personality change as a result of drinking, usually changing from a relatively calm, collected state to a flamboyant and, in some cases, aggressive and irritable drunk. People who exhibit signs of alcoholism often start drinking at early ages, making the onset of alcoholism more prevalent. Alcoholism warning signs such as blackouts, or periods of memory loss, while drinking are also commonplace for these drinkers as well as losing control.

Loss of control, although a loose term means that once a person begins to drink alcohol they are unable to control the amount they take in. Many times alcoholics will promise ‘only to have a few’ or ‘just have one’, but they find that when alcohol is put into their system they are under the control of the alcohol. People who say they need alcohol to function are experiencing what is known as physical dependence. The body believes that it cannot function without drinking, and if alcohol is taken away the body begins to undergo uncomfortable and often painful withdrawal symptoms.

So if a person answers yes to a few of the questions above they need to ask, “Am I an alcoholic?”. If they answer yes there is help out. Get the help needed as soon as the warning signs show to not lose your life and control of it to alcohol.