What Makes a Person an Alcoholic?

By The Care Centers. Posted on Thu Mar 03 2016

When people talk about alcoholism, it can get very confusing. After all, some sources will tell you that any person who has ever consumed more than the recommended dosages of alcohol regularly for any period of time is an alcoholic. Others will tell you – while they do shot after shot – that they’re not alcoholics because alcoholics go to meetings.

The definition of alcoholism, according to the Mayo Clinic, is “a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.” So how can you identify these signs in yourself or someone you love so that you can get them the help they need?

They Engage in Binge Drinking
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) , binge drinking is defined as drinking to the point of having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAHMSA) defines it as having had five or more alcoholic beverages in succession on the same occasion at least once within the past 30 days.

If you or someone you love have more than 4-5 drinks within about a two-hour time period once or more within a month, you are legally considered to be engaging in binge drinking. Someone who does this on a regular basis, regardless of other responsibilities or relationships is on the road to alcoholism if they are not yet an alcoholic.

They Engage in Heavy Drinking
Have you or someone you love engaged in binge drinking five or more times within the past 30 days? SAHMSA considers this to be heavy drinking, and it is a symptom of alcoholism.

They Have an Increased Tolerance for Alcohol
Some people say that having a high tolerance is a good thing because you can drink as much as you want without feeling the effects of the alcohol. However, developing a tolerance for alcohol is a sign of alcohol addiction and can lead to significant problems.

Everything Is an Excuse to Drink
Got a new job? Let’s get drinks! Lost your job? Let’s get drinks! Happy you’ve found the love of your life? Drinks! Feeling down about a breakup? Drinks. See a pattern here? An alcoholic will use every excuse possible to drink and will not be happy about it if someone recommends doing anything besides drinking.

There Is Help
If any or all of these things sound familiar, then you or someone you love is an alcoholic. Fortunately, whether you live in New York, New Mexico, or anywhere else in the US, The Care Centers have rehab facilities where you can get the help you need to heal and live a normal and productive life with valuable, lasting relationships with friends and family. Contact a facility near you today to get started.

Tags: Mental Health