According to the National Institute of Health, about 7 percent of Native Americans living in the United States struggle with an addiction to alcohol. This is a bit higher than the 5.4 percent of the whole population.
Various factors come into play as to why more Native Americans become addicted to alcohol, such as limited socioeconomic conditions, less extensive mental health services, and subpar health services.
With over 15 million people in the United States addicted to alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, it’s easy to believe that it is the most common addictive substance out there. In fact, it’s easier to get addicted to alcohol than most people think.
Do you drink in moderation or is there a chance you could be addicted to alcohol? Perhaps it’s time to find out and if so, consider doing something about it.
Signs Of Alcohol Addiction
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may be addicted to alcohol, it’s great that you are looking into the issue. The earlier you identify and tackle alcohol addiction, the better. However, it’s never too late to admit that you’re struggling with excessive drinking.
Rest assured that there are helpful treatments available, and you can become free from alcohol addiction. The following are some warning signs of alcohol addiction. Look through them to see if you’re engaging in such behavior.
- Drinking more than you used to. If you are drinking considerably more than you used to, this is a warning sign. For example, if you used to drink once a week and now you drink 3 or 4 times a week, you may be addicted to alcohol or headed that way. At the same time, you could still have a problem if you’re only drinking one or two nights a week but drinking excessively.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Are you experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking? Are your hands shaking during the day? Do you feel agitated until you can have another drink? Have you ever had alcohol in the morning to feel better?
- You drink in secret. Do you drink secretly? Do you tend to enjoy drinking alone? Perhaps you feel guilty for time you spend drinking or the amount you drink. This can cause you to hide from others just how much you rely on alcohol. You may even drink before you go out to meet others for social engagements, just so they won’t realize how much you’re drinking.
- You drink to numb feelings, escape life, or relieve stress. When you’re feeling stressed out or upset, do you turn to alcohol to try to feel better? Do you tell yourself that you deserve to drink if you’ve had a hard day? Do you use alcohol as an emotional crutch? Temporary relief? Does life seem too hard to face sober? These are red flags when it comes to the slippery slope of addiction.
- Drinking causes you problems. Are you struggling with problems with your relationship, work, money, children, or the law due to your drinking? Have your loved ones expressed concern about how much or how often you drink? Have you done some risky or dangerous things while drinking? Have you gotten a DWI or done jail time due to your drinking?
If you’re experiencing problems due to drinking, and continue to drink, this is a sign of alcohol addiction.
- Your think about drinking most of the time. Do you obsess about when your next drink will be? Are you anxiously waiting for it? Intensely craving it? Do you plan your life around parties or time for drinking?
Honestly reflect on how much time you spend thinking about drinking.
- You stop doing things you like to do. Has your life changed since you’ve been drinking? Have you stopped doing things you used to like to do? For example, maybe you used to like to exercise, but now you’d rather drink alone or with your buddies. Or maybe you used to engage with your family, but now you’d rather hang out at the bar.
Evaluate your time and see if your drinking habits have squashed out activities you used to enjoy.
- You just cannot stop drinking. Do you say you’re only going to drink one or two, but once you start, you cannot stop? That one or two become six or seven and by the time the night ends, you’re drunk. You also may vow to never drink again, only to find yourself drinking again days or weeks later.
It’s not that you consciously want to drink excessively. However, once you start to drink, you feel the compulsion to keep drinking.
- You drive while intoxicated. You said you would never drive while intoxicated, but you do.
- You blackout. Do you blackout when you’re drinking and can’t remember what happened the next day? Blackouts are red flags. They indicate that you’re consuming far more alcohol than your body can process, and is a clear sign that you’re on your way to alcoholism or that you are actively struggling with it.
Need Help To Quit Drinking?
Did you see yourself in some of these warning signs of alcoholism? If so, how many? The more you can relate to, the more likely you’re on that slippery slope toward alcohol addiction or you’re already addicted.
There’s no shame in admitting that you’ve become addicted to alcohol. It’s quite common, especially living in a society where drinking is highly encouraged. Fortunately, there is help available in the form of alcohol rehabs, 12 Step meetings, counseling, and more.
You do not have to stay bound in addiction. Take the first step today and admit that you’re struggling and then reach out for some help. Your new journey of freedom can begin today.
Here at Sunrise Native Recovery, we’re here to assist you in getting free from alcohol addiction. We offer culturally based recovery services to Native American populations struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs.
Give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to discuss your particular situation and assist you on the path toward recovery.