Alcohol addiction is the number 2 problem we face here at Turning Point Recovery Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Alcoholism is one of those wonderful conditions that knows no boundaries. It does not discriminate by the color of your skin, your gender, or your income level.

A majority of people are able to drink alcohol responsibly. These people will have alcohol in social situations and then go on with their daily lives. The alcohol use does not cause damage to themselves or those around them.

Some people are not able to stop or control their alcohol use. For those individuals, what was once a social experience becomes an unfortunate way of life.

Recent data from the National Institute of Health reports that 15% of people living in the US are considered problem drinkers. Another study found that approximately 30% of people in the US reported an alcohol disorder at some point in their life.

Do you or a loved one have a problem with alcohol? Here are the top 7 signs that you should look for.

#1: Hiding your drinking habits

We’ve all heard the stories about the neighbor hiding his bottle of alcohol in the tank of the toilet to keep his drinking from his wife. While we might get a good laugh out of such a crazy (and gross) hiding place, this is a huge red flag of a problem.

#2: Blacking out

Blacking out is NOT normal! If you can’t remember what happened last night or even for part of the night, you may have a big problem. Binge drinking, or drinking once in awhile but way over doing it, is just as bad as drinking every night.

#3: Causing family issues

My police officer friend used to tell me how much he HATED working holiday’s. But perhaps not for the reason you are assuming.

While I am sure he would have preferred being home with his own family, what he really hated was all of the domestic disturbance calls they got on holidays. Are you surprised by that?

Think about it for a minute. The whole family gets together and too much alcohol is consumed and all those old sores come rising to the surface.

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a punch to the nose!

#4: Drinking more than you tell yourself or someone you love you will drink, especially despite your intention to drink less.

Alcohol addicts have a physical dependence on alcohol that causes severe adverse reactions when the individual does not drink. This is not just a matter of willpower any more.

When your loved one tells you they won’t drink, or that they’ll only have a few, and then they drink way more than they should, it is not because they don’t care about you. They may be in actual physical pain.

However much pain they may be in, this is still a big sign of an alcoholic.

#5: Feeling ashamed or guilty of your drinking, yet you drink anyway

This goes back to that physical addiction. You simply can not stop no matter how poorly you feel for doing it.

#6: Telling others that you don’t drink or that you drink less than you do

Lying becomes a natural part of life for any type of an addict. The hardest part about alcoholism is that it generally sneaks up on people. It is more of a gradual process that people do not realize is occurring.

#7: Feeling as though you need to drink in order to relax, have fun or be part of a group

“I just can’t be social without a drink”

“Drinking makes everything more fun”

“I had a hard day and want to relax”

These are just a few phrases I regularly hear. Alcoholism is used as a shield in social situations but it does in fact become a physical need.

Our goal is to help you get past the initial withdrawal from the physical need and then explore why you feel like this to begin with.

If you are identifying with any of these signs you may have an issue. Go here today to take an alcohol assessment and see if you need help. After all, that’s what we’re here for.