The abuse of alcohol is rampant in modern society. Inebriation is often used as an excuse for bad behaviour; including physical and verbal abuse, destruction of property, adultery and promiscuity. Alcohol is also often associated with criminal behaviour.

Do you do things you feel you’d never do when sober? Do you blame your actions on “I’d had too much to drink”? Do you wake up with regrets and recriminations?

The bottom line is this. Alcohol does not change your personality or your ideas; all it does is enhance just exactly who you really are by removing the inhibitions that would normally hold you back.

If you are capable of doing something while drunk, then you are more than capable of the same act without the use of alcohol.

Some people are problem drinkers without being dependent on alcohol. If you consume alcohol to cope with difficulties or to avoid your feelings, you’re in potentially dangerous territory. You may not consider that you have a problem, especially if you surround yourself with others who drink as much as you do. Remember “like attracts like”, and drunken friends often keep problem drinkers in denial of their problem. The truth is, people who can handle alcohol and have a healthy relationship with it, have normally had enough after the second drink!

Is alcohol a problem in your life? Do you, or does a loved one, drink too much? Does your drinking affect those around you? Not sure whether you have a problem?

Common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:

  • Continuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships. Getting drunk, for example, even though you know your wife will be very upset, or fighting with your family because they dislike how you act when you drink.
  • Need to drink in order to relax or feel better. Many drinking problems start when people use alcohol to self-soothe and relieve stress. Getting drunk after a stressful day, for example, or reaching for a bottle if you have an argument with your spouse or boss.
  • “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking.
  • Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
  • Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking. For example, performing poorly at work, flunking classes, neglecting your kids, or skipping out on commitments because you’re hung over.
  • Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous, such as drinking and driving, operating machinery while intoxicated, or mixing alcohol with prescription medication against doctor’s orders.
  • Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinking. For example, getting arrested for driving under the influence or for drunk and disorderly conduct.
  • You become verbally or physically abusive after a few drinks.

If your drinking is causing problems in your life, you have a drinking problem. It’s as simple as that!