Am I An Alcoholic? Warning Signs of Alcoholism

On average, they begin drinking at the age of 17 and develop alcoholism at 32. Around half of the people in this subtype develop major depressive order at some Am I an Alcoholic point, while around one-fourth develop bipolar disorder. They are also more likely to smoke cigarettes and develop addictions to marijuana and cocaine.

  • You can seek kind, supportive care from people who understand that what you’re going through isn’t a choice you’ve made.
  • Recognizing these may help you determine if you have a drinking problem that needs treatment.
  • This is the rarest subtype, making up only 9% of people addicted to alcohol in the United States.
  • Ultimately, problematic drinking can be attributed to multiple social, psychological and biological factors.
  • To understand these distinctions and apply them to your own circumstances, it’s time to ask yourself some questions.

People who are seeking treatment for their alcohol abuse may qualify for detox, residential, or outpatient treatment. The level of care required typically depends on the person’s pattern of alcohol use and other conditions they may struggle with. People within the chronic severe subtype tend to start drinking earlier — around age 15 — but take a longer time to develop dependency. Almost 80% of people in this subtype have a close family member who is also an alcoholic.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Being a Heavy Drinker and an Alcoholic?

For some people, just one drink can result in intoxication, while for others, many more drinks are necessary to create the same effect. Of distilled spirits, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). In terms of the effects on the body and brain, excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of various health issues for any user. Whether you’re the loved one of someone struggling with alcohol addiction, or you yourself are struggling, it’s important to be aware of these signs and to know that you’re not alone. Thousands of people from all walks of life battle alcoholism every day, and thousands make the decision to seek help.

As Ashley Christensen celebrates her sobriety, she works to amplify the conversation around alcoholism – The Business Journals

As Ashley Christensen celebrates her sobriety, she works to amplify the conversation around alcoholism.

Posted: Fri, 26 May 2023 11:08:00 GMT [source]

Over the age of 65, men drinking once per day (or more than seven drinks per week) make heavy drinkers. It’s about 10 drinks or glasses of wine for women as a good rule of thumb. Also, binge drinking is extremely dangerous to a person’s health. The risk of alcohol poisoning, overdose, and complications with other medications or drugs are extremely high, especially with a fluctuating tolerance.

Drinking at an Early Age

Alcohol rapidly deteriorates liver functions, kidney functions, brain functions, and more important processes throughout your body. When consumed excessively over a longer period, it’s essentially a ticking time bomb for your body. Many people who have drinking problems may not be honest with themselves about their drinking habits. They may be in denial and convince themselves it is “normal.” When a person takes an honest look at their drinking habits, they can recognize if they should talk to someone about it.

The person has also developed a physical dependence on alcohol, and they will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. Many people drink in moderation, which is defined as one daily drink for women or two daily drinks for men. However, some people may end up developing tolerance, which causes them to need larger amounts of alcohol to feel the same effects. This heavy alcohol use can eventually lead to the development of alcoholism. In the United States, approximately 14.1 million adults aged 18 or older and 414,000 children aged 12 to 17 meet the criteria for alcoholism.


They drink less frequently than the other subtypes, but when they do drink, they’re likely to overdo it and binge. Some treatment programs might begin with a detoxification period that is medically managed. This is typically performed at a hospital or at an inpatient treatment center.

With consistent drinking, the chemical output decreases, so a person drinks more to achieve the same results. Individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder are likely to experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they’re not drinking. Luckily, there are ways to determine if a person’s drinking habit has drifted into an alcohol use disorder—i.e., a full-on alcohol addiction. While everyone is unique, it is possible to divide alcoholics into five different subcategories.

Signs You Are an Alcoholic

Some have higher tolerances and can “hold their liquor” better than others. However, for the nearly 18 million adults in the country with an alcohol use disorder, drinking alcohol causes distress and harm. A 2019 national survey recorded that 14.1 million people over the age of 18 and 414,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 were diagnosed with AUD. In addition, the CDC has reported that one out of every six adults engages in binge drinking.