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How Do You Know if You Have a Drinking Problem?

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People who have a drinking problem usually rely on alcohol to help them deal with shyness, inadequacy, worry and stress. A person with a drinking problem is often saying:
* I need a drink to calm down.
* If I have a drink I’ll calm down and be more social.

Alcohol relaxes most people, but an alcoholic thinks that alcohol will make everything better. If you think alcohol is always the solution to your troubles, this is a clear indication you may have a drinking problem.

Relationships start to suffer when you become a problem drinker. The people closest to us are usually the first to notice a drinking problem, although they are not always the first to speak up about it. Do the people around you make jokes about your drinking? Do co-workers comment about your drinking? Is it making your home life unhappy? Do you get mad when people try to talk to you about your drinking?

Experts think that there are two main components to alcoholism: a mental fixation and a physical response. Do you find yourself thinking about drinking at inappropriate times, such as while at work or in bed at night? Do you regularly go out for one drink and end up drinking a lot more than that? Not all alcoholics suffer from hangovers, but many report feelings of remorse after drinking. Do you ever wake up thinking that you’ve got to stop doing this to yourself?

Alcoholism is a progressive illness; it gets worse with time. Has your drinking increased over the years? Have you seen changes in your drinking habits? Do you go out more often to drink than you used to? Do you avoid others when you drink when you used to drink to have fun with others? Have you tried to drink different types of alcohol in order to try to get less drunk?

For a person with a drinking problem, life becomes chaotic and unmanageable. This can means things such as having financial difficulties because of drinking, getting into trouble with family or the law, insomnia, problems at work, blackouts while drinking, or depression.

Here is a list of some of the behaviors that could indicate you have an alcohol problem:
* Excuses for missing work or excessive use of sick days
* Sloppy work, missed deadlines, and declining performance
* Strained relationships with co-workers, incessant apologies, shortness of temper, irritability, and difficulty in dealing with others
* Borrowing money from others or asking for advances in payroll
* Avoidance of certain people, including managers and supervisors
* Confused thinking and difficulty concentrating
* Always ready with a good excuse for problems

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