Alcohol was supposed to be a short-term answer. After a stressful day at work or an argument with a family member, a beer or glass of wine was there to take the edge off. However, you you’ve noticed this coping behavior has evolved into a habit. While drinking has the ability to help you relax, there’s a cost to the comfort it provides.

It’s often challenging to take a hard look at yourself and determine if your drinking has become a problem. Taking some time to look for the signs of alcohol dependence now can boost your overall well-being and help you take an important step towards sobriety. Let’s take a look at some of the most common warning signs of alcohol dependence.

3 Signs of Alcohol Dependence

1. Are You Drinking to Feel Normal?

Whether you’re relaxing at home or out with a group of friends, do you need to drink alcohol to feel normal? It’s very common for people with alcohol dependence to experience mood swings if they don’t drink. Have you noticed that when you’re sober, you have a much harder time coping with feelings of stress and anxiety? This is a classic sign of alcohol dependence. If you’re not sure if this describes your behavior, start keeping a journal and record when you feel stressed and how you respond to it.

You’ll also want to take a closer look at how you respond to comments about your drinking. For example, if you become defensive or feel guilty when a friend tells you to slow down during a night out, it could be a sign of alcohol dependence.

2. Once You Start Drinking, Can You Stop?

People who aren’t dependent on alcohol have complete control over their drinking. They can sip a single drink all night and are confident in being able to stop whenever they need to. If you’re struggling with alcohol dependence, your behavior likely won’t fit this mold. You might wake up craving a drink, and once you start, you may struggle to stop.

It’s also important to consider the types of activities you’re doing when you’re drinking. If you can’t seem to stop drinking during the work day, you’re likely dealing with an alcohol dependence.

3. Are You Drinking Alone or Sneaking Your Drinks?

Taking a break after a long day and enjoying a drink isn’t typically cause for concern. But how often do you find yourself drinking alone? People who struggle with alcohol dependence will often find themselves drinking alone, since alcohol has become their primary coping mechanism.

You’ll also need to examine how often you drink in secret. By nature, drinking in secret suggests that you feel some level of guilt about your behavior and indicate that you have a destructive relationship with alcohol. It’s crucial to keep track of the situations you’re in when you’re secretly drinking. For example, hiding your alcohol in a travel mug during the day or going to take a sip every time you feel anxious means you’re struggling with alcohol dependence.

Fortunately, there is a way for you to overcome your alcohol dependence. No matter what your relationship with alcohol has become, there is hope to break free from the hold it has over your life.

Discover Premier Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Fountain Hills, AZ

If you’ve developed a dependence for alcohol, you’re not alone. We know how difficult it can be to deal with the stress and anxiety that can remain persistent in life – especially now as we all try to cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At Fountain Hills Recovery, we’re dedicated to providing holistic alcohol addiction treatment that leverages both evidence-based treatments and experiential activities. When you come to our treatment center, we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan that can most effectively help you overcome your substance abuse.

If you’re ready to reclaim your life from alcohol addiction, contact our expert team today.