Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

Do you often wonder if you have a drinking problem?  If so, below are 4 questions you can ask yourself to better determine if you have a drinking problem.  These questions come from the Cage Questionnaire.

Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your drinking?

This is an important question.  If you answer YES to this question, this means that you are starting to feel concerned about your drinking.  For example, let’s say you go out with some friends and only plan on having 2 drinks, but you end up getting drunk and needing to take an Uber home.  The next morning you wake up feeling concerned that you drank too much and maybe cutting down would be a good idea.  This is an example of feeling concerned about your ability to control how much you drink. 

Have you become annoyed when people criticize your drinking?

If you have felt annoyed when others have criticized your drinking, this means that others are noticing your drinking behavior and they are concerned.  This is also a sign that your drinking may be starting to affect your relationships.  If someone has criticized your drinking, it might be a good idea to take a look at how your drinking might be affecting others.  Is your drinking causing you to get in fights with family or friends?  Is your drinking causing you to miss important events with friends and family because you’re too hungover to attend?  These are just two examples of why others may be concerned about your drinking. 

Have you ever felt guilty because of your drinking?  

Most people who are concerned they have a drinking problem have felt guilty at some point.  The reason for this is that if your drinking is a problem it is going to cause you negative consequences.  These negative consequences might surface in your relationships with family and loved ones, at work, or legal problems such as a DUI.  You are experiencing guilt because you know that your behavior is affecting you and others in a negative way.  If you are feeling guilty about your drinking, it’s important to take a look at how your drinking is negatively affecting your life. 

Have you ever drank in the morning to get rid of a hangover? 

If you answer YES to this question, what this means is that you have developed a tolerance and possibly physical dependence to alcohol.  This definitely suggests that there is a drinking problem present, and most likely alcoholism. 

If you answer YES to 2 or more questions, there is a possibility that you might have alcoholism and it is important to have an assessment with a licensed substance abuse counselor.  However, if you answer YES to even 1 of these questions it’s time to take a hard look at your drinking.  Normal social drinking does not result in you or others being concerned, feeling guilty, or morning drinking.  If you are unsure if you have a problem with alcohol, it definitely won’t hurt to schedule an appointment with a licensed substance abuse counselor and see what they have to say.  The most important thing you can do is be completely honest with yourself and others.  It might be easy or convenient to try and convince yourself that your drinking isn’t that bad.  However, if you are not honest with yourself and there is a problem, it will only progress and continue to cause you negative consequences.  I hope this article is useful in helping you determine if you might have a drinking problem.