You might be asking am I an alcoholic? Just because you don’t fit the stereotype of an alcoholic doesn’t mean that you don’t have a drinking problem. You can still have a job and family, but they struggle when you drink too much. Learn more about the types of drinking and about alcoholics so that you can decide whether to get help.
There’s nothing wrong with having drinks with friends on special occasions or with dinner. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines casual or low-risk drinking for women and men. For women, it’s up to three drinks in a day or 7 in a week. For men, this is up to four drinks in a day or 14 in a week.
Just because you drink more alcohol than this doesn’t necessarily mean that the answer is yes to your question am I an alcoholic? Other factors play a role.
Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcoholism — Am I An Alcoholic
Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of behavior in which people drink excessive amounts of alcohol with no regard for the consequences. This can lead to alcoholism.
Alcoholism is an addiction to or dependence on the substance. People with alcoholism have a physical dependence and psychological obsession with drinking.
What Is Considered Excessive Drinking?
There are two types of excessive drinking. The NIAAA defines binge drinking as reaching a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more. This also exceeds the legal limit for driving. Reaching this BAC level usually happens after men have five drinks and women have four drinks within two hours.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines heavy drinking, the second type of excessive drinking. It considers heavy drinking as having at least five drinks in a single occasion on at least five days within a 30-day period.
Types of Alcoholics
Am I an alcoholic? You might be able to answer this on your own if you drink excessive amounts of alcohol and are dependent on it. However, there are also different kinds of alcoholics.
The young adult alcoholic type drinks less often than other alcoholics, but they typically binge. The young antisocial alcoholic type have Antisocial Personality Disorder and possibly anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, trauma or other substance addictions. The high-functioning alcoholic type have stable jobs and families, and some have at least a college degree.
The intermediate familial alcoholic type usually have jobs, clinical depression and come from families with a history of alcoholism. The chronic severe alcoholic type started drinking at an early age and have the highest risk for other substance abuse and psychiatric disorders among the five types.
Getting Help at Healing Springs Ranch
Healing Springs Ranch can help if you answered maybe or yes to the question am I an alcoholic? With a team of clinicians who are trained at the Trauma Institute, we are prepared for anything. We offer several types of treatment, including short-term residential treatment, in north Texas. Through our dual diagnosis program, our team can help you mitigate the risk factors for co-occurring conditions such as:
- anxiety disorders
- dissociative identity disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder.
Call 866-656-8384 for information about alcoholism and how you can start a new life without alcohol. Our counselors are ready to help.