The Daily Double
There was a time, when people would come home every day and have a martini, glass of wine or beer to finish off the day. As a matter of fact, that daily glass of red wine was considered good for you. Nowadays, drinking daily, even that glass of wine, has been shown to negatively impact your health. And if you’re getting drunk every day, then you are absolutely an alcoholic and you definitely need to seek help.
(Not) Keeping Up Appearances
When you get to the point where you no longer care what you look like and your hygiene is questionable, at best, this would be a good point in time to stop drinking. You are now an alcoholic.
The Morning After?
If you didn’t drink the night before, but are experiencing the morning after hangover symptoms, this is a serious sign of alcoholism and you need to quit now. Should you feel shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, a seizure, or seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there, after the buzz wears off, these are part of delirium tremens, a rapid onset of confusion usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol. This is usually three days into the withdrawal and is a very serious sign of alcoholism.
Drinking socially, whether with friends, colleagues, coworkers or family, is a wonderful thing. Spending time with great people, having good times and good conversation with the people you care about is ideal. But when it stops being just a good time, when you find yourself drinking too much, too often, or needing, really needing, that drink, or even making excuses to drink more, that’s when it’s time to stop. Heed the warning signs and drink responsibly. (It’s not just an ad campaign.) Should drinking becomes an obsession, it’s definitiely time to quit.
If you are worried about a loved one, talk to them. They may deny any problem. This is when the other warning signs need to be addressed. Be sure, but don’t wait too long. If more than two of the warning signs for AUD are apparent, it might be time for them to quit, or at least rethink their drinking habits. And quitting can be hard, very hard. This is when you ask for help.
Dr. Greg Gale has been practicing and providing leadership in the field of psychiatry, substance use, and integrated care in the Phoenix metropolitan area for over 11 years. He joins us from his role as a national medical director overseeing behavioral health, substance use, and integrated care services for Humana Behavioral Health. Previously, he was CMO and VP of Clinical Services at Partners in Recovery, a not-for-profit behavioral health and substance use service organization, which operates five clinics throughout Maricopa County.
Read more about Dr. Greg Gale, MD