How Can I Tell If I’m An Alcoholic?

Did you intend to have just one drink at the office holiday party but instead end up having three? Or did after effects of a “girls night out” include an unpleasant hangover? Mishaps like these are enough to make you wonder whether you have a serious problem or are possibly an alcoholic.

There’s an unfair stigma that remains around alcohol use. Sometimes it seems that people still equate being an alcoholic with a lack of self-control. This is an oversimplification of alcohol dependence that needs to fade away.

Real help for alcoholism begins with a clinical assessment of your drinking habits and an understanding by your provider that long-term recovery is a multi-pronged process.

Dr. Richard Repass and the team at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment know that very specific alcohol use patterns and practices, as well as mental health challenges can contribute to alcoholism. 

Fortunately, they’ve devoted their careers to understanding the issue, and taking a progressive, nonjudgmental, and medically advanced approach to your treatment.

Alcoholism: the line in the sand

There’s a difference between situational alcohol abuse and a true dependence on alcohol. Alcohol abuse typically means that you drink too much and might imbibe outside of generally recognized “normal” times and events, such as at a party or a special meal out.

A deeper problem might be indicated by drinking alone frequently, drinking in the morning, or binge drinking, where you consume a great number of drinks in a limited amount of time that definitely impair you and may even cause you to “black out.”  

For men, a drinking session that veers into binge territory is five or more drinks within a two-hour time period; for women, it’s four or more drinks in that same time period. 

Certain psychological and physiological things happen when your alcohol consumption becomes an addiction:

A key sign that your alcohol consumption has morphed from recreational use to a bonafide dependence is when you realize your personal and professional life is suffering, as well as your health, and you simply can’t do the instinctive, right thing: simply stop. 

Fighting the frightening effects of alcoholism

The effects of alcohol dependence are powerful and fueled by the loop of dopamine doses that your brain produces while drinking to reward you. As addiction escalates, your tolerance increases and you require more alcohol to feel satisfied.

All of a sudden, the rewards that come with drinking feel more like punishments, because life becomes more out of control and binges are harder to recover from.  

If you realize you’re dependent on alcohol, you’ve made an important discovery, but you may feel overwhelmed, confused, and frightened. All legitimate feelings when you’re staring at the menacing face of a challenge of this magnitude.

Know the risk factors for alcoholism

Alcoholism runs in families, so it’s important to be aware of your increased risk if a parent or other close relative was an alcoholic. One of the effects of trauma can also be escalating alcohol abuse, and even hanging out habitually with heavy drinkers can up your risk. 

Treatment and solutions are available for alcohol dependence

The Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment team employs a diverse range of tools that are proven to help you examine and treat your drinking from the inside out. This is both a physical and psychological condition. 

Often, your dependence is linked to traumatic past events and limited coping skills. 

Dr. Repass creates a care plan for you that usually includes a mixture of interactive therapeutic approaches and medication assisted treatment (MAT), where he prescribes oral medications or shots that diminish alcohol cravings and cause unpleasant physical effects.

His therapeutic toolbox also includes an exciting new treatment called BR+NAD treatment. The BR stands for brain restoration, and NAD stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, a critical molecule everyone needs for their bodily systems to function properly. Many alcoholics are NAD deficient, and this in-office intravenous treatment corrects this imbalance by restoring both your body and your brain. 

Take your life back if you worry you’re alcohol-dependent

If you think you may be an alcoholic, know that you don’t have a character flaw. You have a condition that, although progressive and serious, is treatable. 

Dr. Repass is dedicated to finding the right building blocks of recovery for you and making sure that the fortress remains strong. Call our office to schedule a consultation today or book an appointment online. We’re eager to help you get back control of your life and to feel like you again. 

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