Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic disease characterized by excessive and compulsive consumption of alcohol, despite the negative consequences it may have on an individual’s physical, mental, and social well-being. It is a progressive disease that can lead to serious health problems and even death if left untreated.

Being an alcoholic means that you have a chronic disease that can cause harm to your overall well-being. It’s not just a matter of drinking excessively. Alcoholism is an inability to control one’s drinking habits, often because of a deeper reason. It requires time and attention to treat alcoholism, but it’s not an impossible journey. Early detection can massively improve a person’s chances of recovery.

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Instructions:

1. Answer the quiz questions to determine if you may have a problem with alcohol.
2. Each question has three possible answers. Choose the one that applies to you the most.
3. Keep track of your answers and calculate your score at the end to find out if you are at risk for alcohol addiction.

Quiz:

1. How often do you drink alcohol?*
2) When drinking, how many drinks do you typically have?*
3) Do you ever feel guilty about your drinking habits?*
4) Have others expressed concern about your drinking?*
5. Have you ever tried to cut back on your drinking but were unsuccessful?*
6. Do you think about when your next drink will be?*
7. Have you ever had memory loss after a night of drinking?*
8. Do you continue to drink even when it causes problems in your personal or professional life?*
9. Have you ever experienced symptoms such as shaking, sweating, or anxiety when you haven't had a drink in a while?*
10. How often do you drink until you are drunk?*
Name

Scoring:

For each question, give yourself 1 point for choosing answer “a”, 2 points for answer “b”, and 3 points for answer “c”.

10-13 points: Low risk for alcohol addiction

14-19 points: Moderate risk for alcohol addiction

20-30 points: High risk for alcohol addiction

Disclaimer: This quiz is not intended to diagnose any medical condition. If your alcoholism quiz score indicates a high risk for alcohol addiction, seek out medical support tailored to address alcohol addiction.

What is Alcoholism?

Individuals with alcoholism who have a strong physical craving for alcohol. They may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms (such as shaking hands) when they try to stop drinking. They often have difficulty controlling their drinking habits and may continue to consume alcohol despite knowing the negative consequences it may have on themselves and others.

The causes of alcoholism are complex and can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, environment, and psychological factors. People with a family history of alcoholism are at an increased risk of developing the disorder themselves. If you or someone you know is showing signs of alcoholism, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

Black and white photo of used shooters glass toppled over

What Does It Mean To Be An Alcoholic?

Alcoholism can develop over time and is often influenced by genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Common signs of alcoholism include:

  • Physical Dependence: An individual’s body may become physically dependent on alcohol to function. They may experience withdrawal when they try to stop drinking or reduce their consumption.
  • Tolerance: As physical tolerance builds up, someone with alcoholism may need to drink more alcohol to achieve the desired effect.
  • Loss of Control: Difficulty limiting intake of alcohol and drinking even when faced with negative consequences is a signature trait of alcoholism.
  • Neglecting Responsibilities: Addiction often leads to prioritizing getting the substance over other aspects of life. This can lead to neglecting important obligations like work, school, or family commitments.
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: Even if a person may recognize the harm caused by their drinking behavior, they may be unable to stop or cut back on their consumption.
  • Using Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism: People may consume alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety, or other emotional issues. If this becomes a means to numb or escape the feelings, this can indicate alcoholism.

Fortunately, treatment is available for alcoholism including recovery therapy, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and medication. It is important for individuals struggling with alcoholism to seek professional help to overcome this disease.

Long-Term Signs of Alcoholism

Over time, the symptoms of alcoholism can escalate to a point where they affect the person’s wider life. This can take the following forms:

One-third full bottle of red wine next to one-third full glass of red wine, with blurry woman laying down in the background holding her head
  • Drinking in excess or binge drinking: People who struggle with alcoholism often consume large amounts of alcohol or engage in frequent episodes of binge drinking (defined as consuming four or more drinks in two hours for women and five or more drinks for men).
  • Strong cravings for alcohol: Individuals with alcoholism may have intense urges to drink and may find it difficult to stop once they start a session of drinking.
  • Relationship problems: An addiction to alcohol can also cause strain on relationships with friends and family members. The person may become more withdrawn, irritable, and argumentative when under the influence of alcohol.
  • Legal troubles: Those struggling with alcoholism may face legal issues such as DUIs or public intoxication charges due to their drinking habits.
  • Changes in appearance: Alcohol addiction can also lead to changes in appearance such as redness in the face (sometimes referred to as “alcohol flush”), bloating, and unexplained bruises.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs and symptoms regularly, it may be a sign of an underlying issue with alcohol addiction.

Risks of Being an Alcoholic

Being an alcoholic comes with a multitude of risks that can significantly impact an individual’s health, relationships, and overall well-being. These can have long-lasting consequences.

Alcohol addiction can lead to various health problems such as liver damage, high blood pressure, heart disease, and increased risk of certain types of cancer. The liver is particularly susceptible to damage, because it is responsible for filtering out toxins from the body (including alcohol). Prolonged alcohol consumption can lead to painful, destructive conditions like liver cirrhosis.

Alcohol dependence often goes hand in hand with depression and anxiety disorders. Many people turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism for their underlying mental health issues, but in reality, it only exacerbates them. This can create a vicious cycle where individuals continue to drink excessively to numb their feelings but end up feeling worse in the long run.

Excessive alcohol consumption impairs judgment and coordination, which increases the likelihood of accidents and injuries. Driving under the influence puts not only their lives at risk but also endangers others on the road.

One must also consider the societal impacts of alcoholism. Alcohol abuse has been linked to a higher rate of domestic violence, child neglect or abuse, and crime rates.

Alcoholism is a disease that not only affects the person struggling with it but also those in their immediate surroundings. Seeking help for alcohol addiction is crucial in mitigating these risks and improving one’s quality of life and the quality of their surroundings.

Seek Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Moving Mountains Recovery

Alcohol addiction is a serious disease that affects millions of individuals worldwide. At Moving Mountains Recovery, we offer comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment programs to help individuals overcome their addiction and regain control of their lives.

Our treatment programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual, as we understand that every person’s journey toward recovery is unique. We utilize evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and family therapy to address the underlying causes of addiction.

In addition, our facility offers a safe and supportive environment for individuals to heal both physically and emotionally. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing personalized care and guidance throughout the recovery process.

Don’t let alcohol addiction control your life any longer. Seek help at Moving Mountains Recovery in NJ today. Contact us for more information on how we can assist you or your loved one on the path toward sobriety.

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