If your alcohol consumption is out of control and you believe that you may need help but want to know, “how do I know if I am an alcoholic?” there are some steps that you can take to find the answer to your question.

First of all, reaching the point where you start to think that you may have a drinking problem is difficult. Perhaps you are questioning because your relationships are beginning to suffer, or perhaps your performance at work or school has fallen below your usual pace, or maybe you are in legal trouble for driving under the influence. The point is that you realize that something is not right, because you are asking the question, which is good.

If you think that you have a problem with alcohol consumption, it is a good idea to have a talk with your doctor, who can assess your alcohol use. If you do not feel comfortable speaking with your doctor, there are some common questions you can ask yourself such as:

  • Has alcohol use cost you relationships, jobs, or financial gains?
  • Are you tired of drinking to deal with life’s issues?
  • Do you feel like alcohol use is consuming your life?
  • Have you had legal ramifications due to your alcohol use?
  • Do you find yourself extremely intoxicated throughout the day, even in inappropriate situations?

Some additional questions may pertain to how much work you miss from your alcohol use; has your home life suffered because of your drinking; do you feel guilty when you drink; whether or not substance use exists in your family and so forth. However, these assessment questions are not always an indicator that you’re an “alcoholic.” Research has shown that labeling yourself an alcoholic is not an effective way to overcome alcohol or drug use.

Traditional alcohol use programs treat alcohol consumption as an incurable disease that you are powerless against. Traditional programs, such as 12 steps programs posit that the only treatments available are belief in a higher power, meetings for the rest of your life and abstinence. These programs also support that if you cannot quit your alcohol use when you want, then you are an alcoholic.

If you have taken an online assessment and feel that you have an alcohol use issue, then you should consider seeking assistance from one of the programs that are available to help you. You may or may not need detox and the person best qualified to discuss this is your doctor. Detox will remove the toxic chemicals that have collected in your system as a result of your alcohol use.

Once you have completed detox (if you needed to detoxify), you may want to enroll in a program that can help you rebuild your life after alcohol use. St. Jude Retreats offers a cognitive behavioral education program that uses self evaluation to make choices that are productive and enhancing. Our guests learn to develop behaviors that are positive and have gone on to have long term success without alcohol use. Most importantly you can overcome alcohol use, if you need help understanding how, contact a representative at Saint Jude’s to help you understand how to leave alcohol use behind.