Home » Examining the Definition: What Exactly Makes You an Alcoholic?

Examining the Definition: What Exactly Makes You an Alcoholic?

Many times people who drink too much do not think or realize that they drink too much. They don’t see themselves as alcoholics. When we think about alcoholics, we often get an image of someone who is drinking from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep, someone that is reeling back and forth talking gibberish and unable to hold a job or maintain a family. But this is not always the case. If you’re concerned for yourself or someone else, entering an alcohol detox treatment program can be instrumental in overcoming alcoholism.

Defining Alcoholism

An alcoholic or someone who suffers from alcohol use disorder is someone who has an overwhelming desire or physical need to drink with no regard for the negative consequences their drinking may have on their life. Alcoholism can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe, and each should be taken seriously as the effects of alcoholism can be very damaging in both the short and the long term.

Oftentimes, alcoholics drink more than two drinks every day, but this is not always the case. When some alcoholics drink, they drink a lot in a short period of time. This is often called binge drinking, having four or five drinks within a two-hour span. Binge drinking more than once a month is definitely a cause for concern.

Traits of Alcoholics

When a person is unable to manage their drinking habits no matter how hard they try, it is highly likely that they suffer from alcohol use disorder. Although this condition is treatable, and there is no reason to live a life burdened by addiction, identifying and recognizing the disorder is one of the first steps on the road to recovery. Here are some traits to look for in someone who has a problem with managing their drinking habits.

  • Craving alcohol when not drinking
  • Prioritising over responsibilities
  • No recollection of events when drinking
  • Needing or wanting to have alcohol present at every occasion
  • Spending large sums of money on alcohol
  • Acting without much thought
  • Obsessing over drinking opportunities
  • Use alcohol as a reward

Gaining Control

Getting control over your alcohol use isn’t always easy. Of course, there are those who are able to go cold turkey, but most alcoholics need support in overcoming alcohol. Set goals, seek treatment and be patient and kind with yourself. There may be times when you feel out of control or that you don’t reach your goal or you may have a setback, but those are the times that you need to show yourself the most love and appreciation. It is possible for you to get your drinking under control or eliminate it altogether.  

If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption, and you have noticed that it is affecting your life negatively, damaging personal relationships, depleting your finances, causing loneliness or changing your behavior, there are many treatment options at your disposal. You don’t have to do it alone, trained professionals can help you beat alcohol addiction.

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