Whether you’ve just woken up with a hangover or you’ve found yourself dealing with financial woes due to your drinking, it can be tough to decide when it’s time to ask for help. Here, we’ll explore some of the most common signs that you or a loved one might benefit from working with an addiction treatment center to begin the process of recovery.
1. You drink more than you intended.1
Do you ever head out for happy hour after work, and end up drinking until the wee hours of the morning, despite your intention to call it an early night? Do you mean to have one drink while you watch the game on the weekend, only to find that you’ve gone through a six-pack without giving it a second thought? If so, keep an eye out for other signs of problem drinking.
2. You’ve lessened the amount of time you spend on hobbies.
If you used to love working out in the mornings, and now you don’t exercise as frequently due to your drinking (or its after-effects), it may be time to reach out for help. When you spend less time doing the activities you love because of alcohol, it’s a sign that something isn’t quite right.
3. Your circle of friends has changed.2
Sometimes, the line between a friend and a drinking buddy becomes blurred. If you find that you’ve changed your social circle due to drinking, and you no longer want to hang out with people who don’t indulge in alcohol to the same degree that you do, it may be time to reach out for help.
4. Others comment on how “well” you handle your alcohol.
If friends or family members begin to comment on how much you can drink, or on how well you’re able to “hold your liquor,” it may be a sign that you have a problem. Often, comments from family and friends can indicate a problem long before you notice that there’s something wrong.
5. Your memories after a night of drinking are hazy.
Some people think that they only have a drinking problem if they black out (experience periods of total memory loss) while drinking, but this isn’t actually true. Fuzzy memories of time spent drinking can indicate a problem. If you don’t remember parts of the previous night until they’re mentioned by someone else, or if you check your phone and see text messages or phone calls you only vaguely remember, it’s a sign that your drinking is out of control.
6. Your drinking is causing relationship issues.3
Problems with friends, family members, and/or significant others due to problems related to alcohol are a sign that something is wrong. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you said something mean or rude to someone you love while drinking — it can also mean missing planned activities due to hangovers, or needing to borrow money from others to replace what you’ve spent while drinking.
7. You center your social activities around drinking.4
When you want to see your friends, do you immediately suggest that you go out for a drink? While there’s nothing wrong with this once in a while, if all of your social activities focus on alcohol, you may be dealing with a drinking problem.
8. Your hangovers are rough — and frequent.
Hangovers are no fun, but even people who drink moderately experience them from time to time. If you wake up with hangovers regularly or crave alcohol to stop your hangover symptoms, it’s time to reach out for help. Hangovers don’t just ruin your day — they can also affect relationships, work and school performance, and more.
9. You struggle to talk to others when you aren’t drinking.
Many people use alcohol as a way to mask social anxiety. If you find that you can’t open up to others without a drink, or that you crave alcohol before social situations, it’s a sign that your alcohol use may be a problem.
10. You’ve tried to cut back on your own, and it didn’t go well.
If you’ve wanted to cut back on drinking in the past but find that you can’t, or that you’re always promising yourself you’ll drink less next week/next month/next year, it’s time to reach out for help.
At Northbound Treatment, we understand how tough it can be to reach out for help when you feel like your drinking has gotten out of control. Addiction isn’t your fault — but it’s your responsibility to take the steps necessary to get well. When you reach out to us, we’ll discuss treatment options with you, and help you develop a plan to begin the recovery process. We believe in your ability to heal, and we’ll be there with you as you begin your journey to sobriety today. Pick up the phone and reach out to us for more information on how we can help you live the happy, healthy life you deserve.
1WebMD (2020). Signs You Might Have a Problem With Alcohol.
2Michigan Health (2018). Do You Have a Drinking Problem? 11 Warning Signs to Know.
3Healthline (2016). Stages of Alcoholism.
4Health.com (2014). Subtle Signs You’re Drinking Too Much–And What To Do About It.