Have you ever felt concerned that you are an alcoholic? Maybe you find yourself drinking at lunch time a little more than you mean to, or maybe you even slip a little liquor into your morning coffee, at first in the spirit of easing a rough day, and then more and more until you are drinking at eight in the morning almost every single day. Alcohol is exceptionally prominent in our society.

It has gone from being something that is a little rebellious at work functions, to something that feels almost mandatory at not just work functions, but work itself sometimes, and other places in our society as well. The way alcohol has become a staple in everyday life can make it very difficult to tell if your experience is normal or if you possibly have an abusive relationship with the substance. Just having the introspection to ask that question is a good place to start.

You have probably seen signs of alcohol’s destructive potential in the lives of others and maybe you have even been concerned about repeating that fate. With any kind of mind-altering substance it is important to be very wary to ensure that you don’t cross a line over into abusive behavioral tendencies. Here are some questions to keep in mind as you reflect on your drinking habits.

  1. Do you start to feel desperate for a drink if you have not had one in a while? If you are suffering from a chemical dependence on alcohol, you will more than likely experience withdrawal symptoms any time you go without a drink for a longer than normal period of time. You may start to shake, feel significant swings in your moods, experience a sense of desperation, like you would do anything to have it. If you cannot go without it, if you have difficulty breaking your routine and cannot manage taking a week or even just a weekend off of drinking, you should consider that to be a red flag.
  2. Do you feel like your irritability is rising over time? Alcohol can amplify any underlying emotional issues you may already suffer from, so if you have been feeling angrier or more depressed lately – especially when drinking – it might be time to look into your drinking habits more closely.
  3. Ask yourself, if someone or something prevents you from getting a drink – how do you react? If you find yourself enraged when an obstacle between you and alcohol appears, you can take that as another sign that you might have an unhealthy relationship with the substance. Are you willing to do dangerous things, hurtful things to get to your intoxication? What will you risk?
  4. Discovery InstituteHow are you sleeping? Late night drinking can interrupt REM sleep, which can lead to compounding exhaustion over time. Do you notice that when you are exhausted you drink more alcohol, which only makes you more tired? This cycle will not end in your favor. If you are unable to stop drinking enough to get a quality night sleep it is important to seek help.
  5. Do you feel like your staying on track with your appointments? If you feel like things are slipping lately, with more and more obligations getting postponed or missed altogether, or if your friends and family have started to make comments about your increasing flakiness and undependability, that’s a definite red flag.
  6. If you have concerns about your physical health and wellbeing under the influence of of your drinking habits then you should see your doctor. They can test your liver and make sure you are well. And then it may be time to look into addiction treatment in New Jersey.


You are your own first line of defense – if there’s a problem you will be the first one to experience the negative effects. It is important to stay vigilant about what you take into your body and how it is affecting your life. Keep your eyes open for these signs, and always remember to listen to your loved ones and medical professionals. Catching yourself before you plummet into the abyss of addiction will make if much easier for you to return to a healthy normalcy.


If you find that as you answer these questions that it confirms something that you’ve thought for a while, that you are abusing alcohol and likely have an addiction to the substance then you should know that there is hope. At Discovery Institute, one of the top drug rehab centers in NJ, we offer alcohol recovery programs that are made to be retrofitted to accommodate and effectively treat any unique needs or struggles of the individual patient. After medically supervised detox and rehab you will leave with a sober body and a mind enriched with the life skills you need to be healthy.

Call us the moment you’re ready to leave alcohol behind.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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