Drinking is a popular way for Americans to unwind. In 2015, 56 percent of American adults reported drinking alcohol sometime in the past month. The same study found that almost 27 percent of adults admitted to binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as about four drinks for women and about five drinks for men, all within a span of two hours. That said, drinking too much every now and then doesn’t necessarily mean you have a problem. It’s not a good idea, because hangovers tend to get more debilitating as you get older. But you’ll notice certain indicators that you have an addiction to either alcohol or drugs that merits a trip to rehab. Here are three signs to be aware of.
It feels like you can’t stop
There’s an old joke about addiction that goes something like this: “I can quit anytime I want to. I just don’t want to.” If that applies to you, then you might have an issue that warrants rehab. You have to both want to quit and be able to quit without feeling panicked.
Let’s stick with alcohol as an example. You’re trying not to drink, but then, after a week, you have a really bad day at work. You’re late, your boss yells at you, and you miss a deadline. Your co-workers invite you out for drinks, and you don’t say no. You feel like you need a drink to recover from your terrible day. But while your co-workers stop at one drink because they have to drive, you can’t seem to stop. The next day, you have gaps in your memory. That’s a sign that something serious is going on.
You may also experience physical withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit cold turkey. Your hands might shake. You can feel nauseated or anxious. Concentrating can be difficult to impossible. The more heavily you drink, the more likely you are to experience physical withdrawal. That can be dangerous, so you should really consider getting help from a qualified rehab facility. Medical help is always better (and safer) than going through withdrawal alone.
Your friends and family members notice
Let’s say you moved to Hollywood a few years ago to pursue a show biz career. It hasn’t gone the way you wanted, and now you’ve taken comfort in illicit substances. It’s bad enough that your family is worried. They haven’t yet staged an intervention, but they have sent you information about rehab centers in Los Angeles. However, you don’t think it’s that bad. You think you’re just stressed out and coping as best you can.
It’s possible that your family members are overreacting, especially if you grew up in a household where your parents were controlling or abusive. But it’s more likely that they care about you and are scared that you’re going down a bad road. Hear them out and listen to what they have to say. You can research rehab centers without immediately committing to going one. While you’re at it, try to truly examine your own behaviors. Destructive patterns have a way of sneaking up on us.
It affects your daily life
You didn’t get the promotion at work. Your significant other broke up with you. You crashed your car and can’t afford to get it repaired. Those could all be coincidences, but each one could also be a sign that substance abuse is messing up your daily life and making it hard to function.
Most people can only hide an addiction for so long. If you’re drinking a lot, you’re eventually going to slip up and do something such as show up to work reeking of booze. Or worse, you might get behind the wheel after binge drinking. Don’t wait until you get arrested for DUI to get the help you need. Some wake-up calls are louder than others, and you don’t want yours to come in the form of an arrest or serious car accident.