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August 03, 2022

The Warning Signs: 10 Questions to Assess Your Relationship with Alcohol.



The stereotype of an alcoholic is a person who is out of control on a regular basis. Someone whose relationships are struggling, they cannot keep a steady job, or they spend all their money on their drink of choice. But that is not always how alcohol dependence presents itself. 

Alcohol plays a leading role in many cultures as a way to relax or celebrate. After a long day or week of working hard, it can signal to the mind and body the boundary that it’s time to put an end to striving temporarily. While some people can use self-control with alcohol and not experience problems related to it, that’s not the case for many others. It is even possible to come across as a “functioning alcoholic” and problematic usage can fly under the radar, even for the individual him/herself.

Could You Have a Drinking Problem? 10 Self-Assessment Questions

  1. Has someone who knows you well noticed a difference in your drinking habits and expressed concern?
  2. Have you missed the opportunity to connect with loved ones or enjoy a hobby in your spare time due to the side effects of excessive alcohol use?
  3. Do you regularly drink more than you had planned or limit yourself to and think of excuses for that behavior?
  4. Are you spending more money than you or your family is comfortable with on alcohol or related entertainment?
  5. Do you get defensive when someone close to you suggests you may be developing a problem with reasonable drinking levels?
  6. Is there something in your life that might be causing you anxiety or a depressed mood that you could be trying to “treat” with alcohol?
  7. Is drinking an ingrained part of your loved ones’ culture, so much so that you might feel like an outsider if you decided to cut back or stop?
  8. Has being under the influence caused you to say or do something that you regret?
  9. Has your overall health been impacted by your drinking?
  10. Do you feel a sense of panic if you can’t drink at all or a specific amount each day or weekend?

Ultimately, if you take some time to pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and any consequences of drinking you may notice, you will get a sense for whether you may have developed an unhealthy dependence on alcohol. 


It can help to ask a trusted person in your life for some honest feedback but be aware that not everyone really understands alcoholism and how it starts. Loved ones may want to encourage you that there isn’t a problem in part to excuse their own dependence. 

If you would like to explore this question further with a counselor experienced in assessing and treating alcohol problems, you’re invited to contact Panahi Counseling. The label “alcoholic” can be a scary one and may prevent you from seeking help. 

We understand this and are here to offer our expertise without judgment so that you can address any issues that may be developing. You can live your life without a destructive dependence on a substance and learn to trust yourself to make decisions for your benefit.

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