How Do I Know If I Am an Alcoholic?

How Do I Know If I Am an Alcoholic?

Are you questioning your drinking habits? Do you enjoy drinking alcohol, but sense that you may be enjoying it a little too much? Alcoholism is a progressive and devastating disease that destroys the lives of users that the ones they love. Alcohol addiction is gradual in its development, and it is often difficult to sense when something isn’t right. You may be at that crossroads, and you may be asking the question of how do I know if I am an alcoholic?

If you are asking yourself that hard question, this article will give you the information you need to find definitive answers. You will learn more about the signs of alcohol abuse as well as the long-term effects of alcohol abuse. Importantly, you will learn where you can find help. If the constant question of am I an alcoholic is an everyday occurrence, call the Last House today. We provide sober living and clinical support to help you find lasting recovery.


What Are the Signs of Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse can range from mild, moderate, to severe based on the signs that you experience. The common signs of alcohol abuse include the following:

  • Being unable to cut back or quit drinking despite wanting to
  • Feeling ashamed by the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Spending significant time drinking, thinking about drinking, or recovering from drinking
  • Feeling urges to drink alcohol regularly
  • Continuing to drunk even when it prevents you from fulfilling obligations at work, school, or home
  • Continuing to drink even though it damages relationships
  • Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies to use alcohol
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol, so you have to drink more to achieve the same effects


What Are the Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Use?

If you abuse alcohol for long periods, you will experience a variety of damaging effects on your health. Long-term alcohol use interferes with the communication pathways in the brain, and you will experience problems with cognition and motor movement. Long-term drinking can also damage the heart and increase the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart arrhythmias. You can also increase your risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver and alcoholic hepatitis.

Disturbingly, chronic alcohol misuse increases the risk of developing certain forms of cancer including the following:

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer


How Do I Know If I Am an Alcoholic?

So comes the million dollar question:

How do I know if I am an alcoholic?

To truthfully answer that question, you must stop and take an honest look at your drinking. The following are telltale signs that you are engaging in problem drinking:

  • Constant cravings for alcohol
  • Drinking in isolation
  • Losing interest in activities you once loved
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Withdrawal
  • Prioritizing drinking over your other responsibilities
  • Drinking first thing in the morning
  • Intense and persistent feelings of guilt
  • Feeling unable to control how much alcohol you drink or to stop drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite family, financial, and health problems

You can also take an alcohol test to determine if you are an alcoholic. Tests such as the CAGE Substance Abuse Screening Tool and the AUDIT Test are helpful in enabling you see the bigger picture. If you determine that you are an alcoholic, you must seek professional help. The rehab program you choose must have evidence-based programs such as detox, therapy, life, and coping skills training, 12-step group support, and aftercare options, among others. Experienced treatment staff must be able to customize a program that meets your specific needs.


The Last House: Sober Living That Makes a Difference

Are you struggling with alcohol abuse but are unable to commit to an inpatient program? Are you new in recovery and need extra support as you transition back into your daily life? As one of Southern California’s premier sober living networks, The Last House provides men from all walks of life with evidence-based sober living and clinical support programs that transform your life. The tools and support from staff and peers at The Last House will give you a solid foundation to build lasting recovery.

Are you ready to live your best life? Call The Last House today.

What Happens After Rehab Ends?

Completing a drug rehab program is a major accomplishment. During your stay in treatment, you worked hard to address and overcome the underlying issues of your addiction. As you progress in treatment, you become mentally and physically strong and healthy. Knowing that you have completed treatment, and you are ready to return to your daily life with both feet. While completing drug rehab is worthy of celebration, what happens after rehab ends?

The reality is that the real work in recovery starts when treatment ends. To minimize the risk of relapse, it is highly advisable to undergo some sort of continuing care. This article focuses on the importance of relapse prevention programs and why continuing care is important to maintain long-term recovery.

Contact The Last House today to learn more about our structured sober living for men in Los Angeles.


What is the Continuum of Care?

In a discussion about what happens after rehab ends, we must understand that drug rehab isn’t a singular event that you experience. As a whole, drug treatment is seen as a treatment system where the appropriate level of care is matched with your specific needs. This system comprises the following evidence-based programs:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP)
  • Traditional outpatient treatment
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Aftercare programs

When you enter treatment, experienced professionals will conduct a thorough physical and psychological examination to determine the appropriate level of care. As you progress in treatment, the level of care can change as your needs change. Having this continuum of care is critical to your long-term recovery and success—especially when formal treatment ends.


What Happens After Rehab Ends?

So what happens after rehab ends? Along with many newly recovering addicts, you may think you just picked up where you left off before you entered treatment. With your mental and physical health restored, you feel confident that you can stay clean and sober as you resume your daily life. While you may feel confident, addiction is a cunning and powerful adversary. The stresses and triggers of your environment can break you down over time. Without the proper support and care, the chances of relapse dramatically increase.

As stated before, the real work in recovery begins when you complete treatment. The real world is a rollercoaster, and you can easily feel overwhelmed away from the security of a rehab program. Relapse prevention programs are invaluable in providing the extra tools and support you need to stay healthy and work your individual recovery program.


What is the Importance of Continuing Care and Relapse Prevention?

Continuing care programs are just as important to your sobriety as intensive treatment. These essential programs give you the coping skills and tools needed to handle the stresses of everyday life. When you can understand your stressors and the triggers that can lead to relapse, you are better equipped to move forward in your recovery confidently. The following are three ways in which relapse prevention programs benefit you:

Relapse prevention programs teach you about relapse itself. These programs stress that relapse behavior starts well before you actually use drugs and alcohol. You will learn the signs of emotional and physical relapse, and you will learn to be proactive in dealing with those symptoms before they grow worse.

You learn the triggers and stressors in your environment that lead to relapse. When you experience or see these triggers and stressors, you can put an action plan in place to deal with them in a healthy manner using the right coping skills.

Relapse prevention programs give you the confidence you need to succeed in sobriety. Many newly recovering people get a false sense of security, thinking they are “cured” of addiction. In a relapse prevention program, you fully understand the complexities of addiction and the ways you become vulnerable to triggers and temptations. Knowing the warning signs and learning healthy life and coping skills make you confident in staying the course.


Continue Your Recovery Journey with The Last House

Recovery isn’t a singular event; it is a lifelong journey. In that journey, having continued professional and peer support is important in helping you stay sober. The Last House is a top-tier men’s sober living network whose mission is to give you the tools and confidence you need to move forward in your sobriety. Our unique program in Los Angeles combines sober living and clinical programs to help you find the health and happiness you deserve. Call The Last House today and make the commitment to the new you.