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Do You Have a Drinking Problem? Cut Back on Alcohol to Find Out

Man Shows Willpower Not To Drink AlcoholIf you’re wondering whether or not you have a problem with alcohol, you may have filled out one or more online quizzes to help you figure it out. You’ve answered questions like:
  • Do you hide your drinking?
  • Do you often drink more than intended?
  • Do you get behind the wheel after drinking?
  • Have you suffered difficulties at work or at home because of your choices under the influence?
  • Is your health suffering due to your drinking habit?
  • The problem is that even if the quizzes indicate that you may be struggling with an alcohol use disorder, you may be inclined to write it off as a phase or something you would have no problem controlling – if you wanted to.

    One of the best ways to determine once and for all if you are living with alcohol disorder is to attempt to stop. Based on your experience, there will be no doubt whether or not it’s time for you to consider enrolling in alcohol abuse or addiction treatment services.

    Get Started

    In order to get the full benefit of your experimental sobriety, start out by doing the following:

  • Create a clear and definite timeline. (e.g., “I will quit drinking for one week, two weeks, or one month.”) Make sure it is long enough to truly test your mettle and place you in a variety of situations in which you might otherwise have had a drink – or three.
  • Tell one or two other people about your experiment so you will be held accountable.
  • Get rid of any alcohol in the house.
  • Go out as you normally would to truly test whether or not you are able to remain sober as usual. It’s not a true test if you hibernate for two weeks or pick the two weeks when you are hiking the Appalachian trail, visiting Grandma at the nursing home for a weekend, or otherwise completely disconnected from access to alcohol or engaged a task where it is not readily available.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms

    If there is a chance that you will experience withdrawal symptoms, don’t attempt to stop drinking on your own. You need medical detox to ensure a safe withdrawal experience. If you try to stop drinking and find that within 12 hours you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms, there is no need to go any further: You are addicted to alcohol, and you need prompt medical attention.

    Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may be different in type and severity depending upon how much you drink and how long you have been drinking as well as whether or not you use other drugs of abuse and/or struggle with underlying mental or physical disorders. In general, however, alcohol withdrawal symptoms may include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • If you crave a drink and cannot focus of function without one when you try to stop drinking, it is time to seek an alcohol rehab program that offers both medical detox and psychological treatment services.

    Can’t Stop

    If you stop drinking and manage to maintain your experimental sobriety for the most part, but have a sip of alcohol at some point, it’s considered a slip. This may not be a big deal even though you are attempting to stay completely sober. One sip of wine or trying someone’s beer and then remembering your commitment and making it work for the rest of your predetermined time is not a big deal.

    However, if you are unable to get through your experimental period without binge drinking (e.g., ingesting five or more drinks in two hours for men, or drinking four or more drinks in two hours for women), this can indicate a binge drinking problem. If you completely abandon your attempted sobriety after a few days and return to your usual heavy drinking habits, there is no doubt that you need help. If you can’t stop drinking for any length of time even when you want to, treatment services are recommended to help you get back on track.

    But Everyone Drinks…

    It’s true that alcohol is a big part of our culture. It’s served before, during, and after dinner; available in grocery stores and corner stores; and a huge part of most entertainment options. People use alcohol to relax, have a good time, deal with stress, or get through socially awkward situations. While all of these behaviors may be “normal,” they are not necessarily healthy. An occasional indulgence is one thing, but if you find that you are routinely drinking heavily and experiencing negative consequences as a result AND that you are unable to stop drinking despite a real desire to quit, there are treatment services that can help you recover control of your life.

    Treatment Options

    Even if you are unable to get through a week without picking up a beer or having a cocktail, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you must enroll in a comprehensive, year-long detox and addiction treatment rehab program. Because the term “alcohol use disorder” defines a range of differences in experiences with alcohol that are problematic and require treatment, there is a range of treatment options that can help. You may choose to:

  • Meet with a personal therapist who specializes in addiction treatment to discuss your alcohol issues and create a plan
  • Talk to your doctor about whether or not medical care may be necessary
  • Work with a life coach to determine the best path forward
  • Attend a 12-Step meeting
  • Take part in a support group for people in recovery from alcohol abuse and addiction
  • Enroll in an intensive outpatient treatment program that provides consistent support
  • Attend family therapy sessions to address any issues that may have arisen due to alcohol use
  • Did you attempt an experimental sobriety period? How did it go? Share your experience with us!

    Get Help Now.

    Has addiction stolen your loved one? Take action and call (619) 577-4483 or fill out this form to speak with a Treatment Consultant about our drug rehab center or one of our facilities across the United States.

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