Do you or your loved one have an alcohol addiction? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. In fact, most addicts are in denial about their substance abuse problem. Below, you'll find a quiz that will help you understand whether or not you really are an alcoholic and may need to seek help. Answer all of the questions honestly, and you'll determine what your next steps should be.
Answer all of the following questions, keeping your relationship with alcohol in mind. If your answer is yes, check the box beside the question. If your answer is no, leave the box blank. Once you've gone through all of the questions, enter your email address and click the submit button to get your results.
If you've read through the questions above and realized that you or someone you're close to has a problem with alcohol, it can be a bit hard to take. Maybe you're depressed or scared about what's going to happen to you now. Or maybe you feel confused about what steps to take next. Or perhaps you feel ashamed that your drinking has gotten so out of hand.
No matter what you're feeling, though, it's important to realize that you are not alone. In fact, alcoholism is incredibly common – more so than many people know. And more importantly, sobriety is possible with the right help.
Here are a few statistics from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to give you a better idea of how big of a problem abusing alcohol really is.
As you can see, alcoholism is a serious problem today. And while you may be ashamed about your addiction, you certainly aren't alone.
While an alcohol addiction is possible for anyone, there are risk factors that make certain people more susceptible to this kind of substance abuse.
These factors include:
While the quiz above is one of the best ways to give you the clearest indication of whether or not someone is suffering from alcohol addiction, there are a few other indications you can be on the lookout for too.
The physical effects of alcohol addiction can be easy to spot when you know what to look for. If you notice the signs below in someone close to you, there's a pretty good chance that they're struggling with a drinking problem.
It's worth remembering, however, that just because you don't notice these signs doesn't mean that your loved one doesn't have an alcohol abuse disorder. Many functional alcoholics are able to cover up their signs of addiction.
Alcohol has a substantial effect on the brain. It can remove inhibitions, create a false sense of well-being, and can even cause drastic mood changes that happen seemingly out of nowhere.
And when you develop an addiction to alcohol, the effects can become even more pronounced. If you notice the signs below in someone you care about, they could be an alcoholic in need of professional help.
Even if you notice these signs and try to bring it up to your friend or loved one, the truth is that most of the time, they'll staunchly deny having any sort of problem. They may even get defensive or aggressive about it.
And that can make it especially hard to get them the help they so desperately need.
That's because like all other addictions, alcoholism and denial are inextricably linked.
To give you an idea of how common it is, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that about 13.9 million adults met the criteria for needing help for their alcoholism but didn't get it. Of those 13.9 million, about 3.3% knew they had a problem and either did or didn't seek help. The 96.7% left over, however, didn't feel like they had a problem at all.
That's 13.5 million adults who didn't seek help because they were in complete denial about their alcohol addiction.
It all boils down to how addiction changes the way the brain works. Over time, your thought processes eventually become all about alcohol, and you become a drink-seeking machine. And when the alcoholic brain is confronted with the hard truth – that the one thing it wants most is actually its biggest problem – it can't help but deny it.
But just because they can't see the truth at first doesn't mean they're hopeless. Once an addict, always an addict is a myth.
And there are things you can to do help.
Approaching someone you love about their addiction to alcohol can be tough. Emotions will likely run high, they may make threats or hurl insults, and you'll most likely be tempted to back down and avoid bringing it up ever again.
But if someone is in the depths of addiction, it might take your help in order for them to climb back out. And there are a few different ways you can make that happen.
You've probably heard of an intervention before. Maybe you've read about them in magazines or even seen some of the recent TV shows that feature them as their main draw.
And while they're often sensationalized in the media today, the core principles are often true to what an intervention really is. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence or NCADD, an intervention is:
a professionally directed, education process resulting in a face to face meeting of family members, friends and/or employer with the person in trouble with alcohol or drugs… Intervention helps the person make the connection between their use of alcohol and drugs and the problems of their life. The goal of intervention is to present the alcohol or drug user with a structured opportunity to accept help and make changes before things get even worse.
Running an intervention properly isn't as easy as it looks though. Conversations need to be structured properly, emotions need to be kept to a reasonable level, and help needs to be offered strategically. Essentially, running an effective intervention takes work.
To get the absolute best results, then, you need to use a professional intervention specialist. Their services will help your loved one get the help they need and reduce the likelihood of them refusing treatment.
Alcoholism is incredibly common. But that also means that the support groups that focus on alcohol addiction are also easy to find.
Below are just a few that you may find helpful, whether it's a friend or family member that's addicted or you're the one struggling with alcoholism.
It most certainly is.
Time and time again research has shown that professional treatment is the absolute best way to ensure long-term recovery. And when you use proper, evidence-based treatment programs, the likelihood of recovery is far higher.
According to the NIAAA, "around one-third of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms one year later. Many others substantially reduce their drinking and report fewer alcohol-related problems."
A comprehensive treatment program will generally consist of three phases of treatment:
This stage will give you the medical expertise and knowledgeable guidance you need to stay safe and comfortable as you go through alcohol withdrawal. Physical and psychological side effects here can be both overwhelming and dangerous without proper treatment.
Plus, a quality detoxification program will also teach you strategies you can use later to overcome your cravings and maintain your sobriety.
While detox is key for healing your body from the ravages of alcoholism, rehab is more about healing the mind. A proper rehabilitation program will get to the root of your addiction while teaching you new ways of coping with your compulsive urges.
With the help of a rehab program, you can rewire your addicted brain and prevent relapse in the future.
Last but not least, an aftercare program will help you maintain your sobriety after you've left rehab and re-entered back into your normal day-to-day lifestyle. This can be a dangerous period as once the sobriety afterglow has started wearing off, people may be tempted to fall back into old bad habits.
An aftercare program (like AA or continued outpatient treatment) can make sure that you aren't slipping back into alcohol abuse once treatment ends.
To give you an idea of what to expect during your alcohol treatment, have a look at the most common withdrawal symptoms below. It's worth mentioning that not everyone will experience each of these side effects of alcoholism and the severity will depend on your level of addiction.
An alcoholic might be tempted to kick their habit on their own without the help of a professional alcohol detox program. However, this is not only a terrible mistake that can make the chances of relapsing much higher than they need to be. It can also be quite deadly.
The main threat comes from developing two potentially fatal symptoms of alcohol withdrawal: delirium tremens and life-threatening seizures. And when you're going through detox at-home rather than under the supervision of a medical professional, it can end up being a fatal mistake.
If you or a friend or loved one is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, it's absolutely critical to get the proper professional treatment. Not only will doing so make your recovery quicker, easier, and more successful, it can also protect you from some of the most dangerous complications of withdrawal that can end up risking your life.
And if you're looking for treatment in Washington State, the best choice for alcohol detox and rehab is Northpoint Washington. Our clean and modern facility boasts one of the best staff-to-patient ratios in the region and is passionate about providing evidence-based treatment that's backed up by hard science.
We also have 24/7 medical care, individualized treatment plans, plenty of activities, and more. It's a full package for alcohol addiction recovery. Plus, we're happy to recommend one of our affiliate programs for people who aren't able to travel to Washington for treatment.
It may seem like an alcohol addiction is a hopeless situation. But sobriety is attainable – with the right help.
So, give us a call today. We'd love to help give you the gift of sobriety.