Are You an Alcoholic?

I often meet people who ask me if I think they have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol. My answer is always the same: "I cannot decide that for you." I do not label individuals, especially when it comes to alcohol or drug abuse. Part of recovery comes from the acknowledgment of one's condition and acceptance of it. If you believe you have a problem with alcohol (and/or drugs), answer the questions below to yourself. Then, reach out for help. Because if you are even considering the possibility that you may struggle with alcohol or substance abuse, chances are it would be helpful for you to speak with a professional.

(Tip: You may substitute the word "alcohol" for "drugs" if it will help you identify more easily).

One of the descriptions of alcoholism that sets apart a hard drinker from an addicted drinker is 1) that once you consume a drink, you cannot therefore control the amount you consume thereafter ("Once you start, you cannot stop); and 2) you cannot stay stopped after a period of drinking; you will pick up alcohol again.

Alcoholics are powerless over alcohol. They need a power greater than themselves to restore sanity and fulfill the power that the alcoholic needs to overcome their illness. In my experience, it is not possible to stay sober (and happy) based on your own self-will.


Do you drink heavily when you are disappointed, under pressure or have had a quarrel with someone?

Do you drink heavily when you are having a good time, or celebrating something?

Can you handle more alcohol now than when you first started to drink?

Have you ever been unable to remember part of the previous evening, even if your friends say you didn't pass out?

When drinking with other people, do you try to have a few extra drinks when others won't know about it?

Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable if alcohol is not available?

Are you more in a hurry to get your first drink of the day than you used to be?

Do you sometimes feel a little guilty about your drinking?

Has a family member or close friend expressed concern or complained about your drinking?

Do you try to avoid family or close friends while you are drinking?

Have you been having more memory blackouts recently?

Do you often want to continue drinking after your friends say they've had enough?

Do you usually have a reason for the occasions when you drink heavily?

When you're sober, do you sometimes regret things you did or said while drinking?

Have you tried switching brands or drinks, or following different plans to control your drinking?

Have you sometimes failed to keep promises you made to yourself about controlling or cutting down on your drinking?

Have you ever had a DWI driving while intoxicated or DUI driving under the influence of alcohol violation, or any other legal problem related to your drinking?

Are you having more financial, work, school, and/or family problems as a result of your drinking?

Has your physician ever advised you to cut down on your drinking?

Do you eat very little or irregularly during the periods when you are drinking?

Do you sometimes have the shakes in the morning and find that it helps to have a little drink, tranquilizer or medication of some kind?

Have you recently noticed that you can't drink as much as you used to?

Do you sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time?

After periods of drinking do you sometimes see or hear things that aren't there?

Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking?

Do you ever feel depressed or anxious before, during or after periods of heavy drinking?

Have any of your blood relatives ever had a problem with alcohol?

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, call for a free phone consultation. We will set you up with counseling, or refer you to a facility that best suits your needs. Help is available. Recovery is possible.

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