Four Signs You Are a Functioning Alcoholic
It’s about to be another stressful day at work, and all you can think about is coming home and having a drink. But instead of waiting, you go ahead and take a shot before work. It calms your nerves, and you feel like you can now tackle the day.
You go to work, check everything off of your to-do list, and you come home. You have another drink.
And then another.
And then another.
You start to feel guilty about your habit, even though you successfully get all your work done during the day.
Are You a Functioning Alcoholic?
The CAGE questionnaire can help you determine if you struggle with alcohol dependency. Each “yes” is equal to one point.
C – Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your drinking?
A – Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
G – Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
E – Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning as an “eye-opener” to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a total score of 2 or greater is considered clinically significant, and you should seek professional assistance.
How Much is “Too Much”?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 88,000 deaths in the US per year, and $249 billion in economic costs. So what is considered excessive alcohol use?
- Binge drinking (defined as consuming 4 or more alcoholic beverages per occasion for women or 5 or more drinks per occasion for men).
- Heavy drinking (defined as consuming 8 or more alcoholic beverages per week for women or 15 or more alcoholic beverages per week for men).
- Any drinking by pregnant women or those younger than age 21.
What Can I Do About Excessive Drinking?
If you find that you or a loved one is an excessive drinker, there are some things you can do at home to help yourself or them:
- Research and attend local self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon (for friends and family).
- Talk with your healthcare provider about finding a certified alcohol and drug counselor who is trained to help you, or refer you to a psychiatrist or addictionologist.
- Connect with a local treatment facility such as Akua Mind & Body who can counsel you on what to do next.
- Avoid putting yourself in situations where you may be tempted to drink.
- Explain openly and honestly to your close friends and family that you think you may have a drinking problem, and ask for their support.
- Mindfully meditate when you are feeling stressed or needing a drink.
Remember, a sober life can help you attain better mental health, physical health, success, and happiness. You are on the right path just by reading this article!For more information on getting sober, contact our 24-hour addiction hotline at 888-738-1689.