Pouring a glass of wine with dinner, ordering a fruity cocktail while laying by the pool on your tropical beach vacation, or popping open a beer during a football game to enjoy with your wings is one thing, not being able to control yourself and stop is another. Drinking in general does not indicate any sign of alcoholism. First signs of alcoholism.
Many people are perfectly capable of having one or two drinks and calling it a night, or skipping the cocktail unless it’s a special occasion. Even those who over-indulge at a wedding with an open bar or a bachelorette party and end up sick aren’t necessarily alcoholics. They’re just people who accidentally had a little too much fun and certainly won’t be drinking again for a while.
Of course, then there are alcoholics. But how do you recognize the first signs of alcoholism? Is it having too many drinks at a party or when you start having a glass of wine every night with dinner?
Many people are confused about what exactly it means to suffer from alcoholism. This makes it difficult to diagnose an issue when it’s happening. Fortunately, there are some signs that do help you recognize the first signs of alcoholism.
Early signs of heavy drinking
An Inability to Limit Drinks
Let’s not mistake a little bit of peer pressure for a sign of alcoholism. If you sit down for a group dinner with your girlfriends and say you’re limiting yourself to one glass of wine because of your diet and then order a second one when everyone else orders a second, it’s probably not an issue. What is an issue, however, is when you cannot limit the amount of alcohol you’re having at any time. Say you know you’re going to drive home tonight and you decide you’ll have one beer at the beginning of the game and nothing else because you’re driving and then you have six or seven.
If this happens every time you let yourself indulge in a cocktail, you might be showing the first signs of alcoholism.
When alcohol is no longer something you drink from your own kitchen in front of your loved ones, it’s a problem. When you’re hiding your drinking, drinking and then lying about it or hiding your alcohol in places no one would suspect, it’s a sign of alcoholism. It’s a sign that you already know you have an issue and you’re trying to hide it so your loved ones stop urging you to get help or to slow down.
You Drink to Get Drunk
This is, perhaps, the biggest first sign of alcoholism. Of course, everyone drinks to get drunk at some point – more specifically, bachelor and bachelorette parties where it seems to be the theme of the night. However, if you habitually drink to become drunk because it makes you happy, it’s not a good sign.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, it’s time to seek help for your alcoholism. It’s not easy to stop once you cross a certain line, and typically when you begin to notice these symptoms you’ve already crossed that threshold.