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Ep. 68 – Am I An Alcoholic?

Podcast Episodes

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“Alcoholism has to be self-diagnosed. If you don't buy into it yourself, what path are you going to take?” -Ben B. Click To Tweet

Have you ever wondered if you an alcoholic? In this episode, we talk about signs that might mean that you are an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. Most people don’t just wake up and become an alcoholic. Although, some people may be genetically predisposed to alcoholism. There are a number of signs that when combined can mean that you are an alcoholic or that are precursors to becoming an alcoholic.

We also talk about the importance of self-diagnosis, because you can’t fight something that you don’t believe is true. We also talk about recovery and how it is about living life without needing alcohol to cope. We share some of our personal experiences, along with, how recovery can be a great experience if you find the right place to do it at. We also talk about the differences between heavy drinking, binge drinking, and being an alcoholic.

“Alcohol abuse is the precursor to alcoholism. It's possible with alcohol abuse that there aren't any physical consequences yet.” -Tom Conrad Click To Tweet

Show Notes:

  • rural road to sunset[03:25] Alcoholism has to be self-diagnosed. If you don’t buy into it yourself, what path are you going to take?
  • [03:36] We are going to dive into what is the difference between the problem drinker and the real alcoholic. It’s going to come down to the measures that need to be taken.
  • [04:21] Alcohol abuse is the precursor to alcoholism. It’s possible with alcohol abuse that there aren’t any physical consequences yet.
  • [04:38] Alcoholics are physically dependent on alcohol. Meaning your body can’t go without having it. If you start getting the shakes  and having alcohol withdrawal, you have crossed that line.
  • [05:06] With alcohol abuse and binge drinking your body may not be physically dependent on it, but it is the precursor to alcoholism.
  • [05:33] Alcoholism is progressive. When you get to the point where you’re substituting alcohol for the natural neurotransmitters in your brain, that’s when you become dependent.
  • [06:37] Once you’ve had a drink, are you able to stop? Not being able to stop, once you start, is probably the easiest way to define it.
  • [07:11] People who abuse alcohol can generally stop.
  • [07:52] Needing alcohol just to get through the day is a big difference.
  • [08:36] Heavy drinking for women is having more than three drinks a day or seven drinks a week. In truth, these things can’t really be quantified by the number of drinks. Drinking patterns vary.
  • [10:26] Just because you don’t drink everyday, it doesn’t mean you’re not an alcoholic.
  • [10:45] Ask if you’re able to stop once you start drinking for the night?
  • [11:08] Binge drinking can bring you to the frequency of drinking daily.
  • [11:50] There is a difference in alcohol metabolism with alcoholics. The symptom is a phenomenon of craving. Once you start, can you stop?
  • [13:13] Age isn’t a factor. People at any age can start drinking heavily and have it turn into alcoholism.
  • [14:28] Tom was 26 when he couldn’t stop drinking. He was in treatment with guys who were in their 50s.
  • [15:09] If you’re questioning whether you’re an alcoholic, there’s a good possibility that you are.
  • [16:01] Even if you are functional, you could still be an alcoholic.
  • [18:28] The very first sign and symptom of being an alcoholic is alcohol craving. It’s the craving after the first drink. The first drink is the mental obsession. The next drink is the physical craving.
  • [20:01] The mental obsession to drink comes from daily interactions and feelings. People go to treatment to learn how to live without drinking.
  • [21:57] If alcohol takes up a lot of real estate in your mind then that is the mental obsession.
  • [23:26] The more time you spend in a bar, the more you will drink and the more tolerance you will build up. Building up a tolerance is also a sign.
  • [24:41] Alcoholism can be very slow and very progressive in a lot of people.
  • [25:47] Alcohol is an artificial source of Gaba. The more you drink, the more you need to feel a buzz.
  • [26:09] There’s also a reverse tolerance where someone’s liver and blood is so saturated with alcohol all the time that it only takes one drink for them to get drunk. Reverse tolerance occurs with chronic alcoholics.
  • [27:28] Benzos and alcohol are identical with the effect they have on the brain.
  • [28:40] It’s important to get a doctor that’s well-versed in alcohol and addiction if that is what you are suffering from.
  • [29:56] There are only two substances that you can die of from withdrawal and that is alcohol and benzodiazepines.
  • [31:46] Are you drinking alone? Is it something that is increasing? It can start out socially, but eventually gets to the point where you might drink alone.
  • [34:35] Mood swings and irritability is a sign of being an alcoholic.
  • [38:23] Despite the outcomes, we are going to continue to drink. This is where the consequences come in when you are an alcoholic.
  • [41:05] Drinking in the morning. If you are sitting at home, and you can’t function without taking a shot, you are probably an alcoholic.
  • [42:40] Risky behavior is another sign. Such as doing things that you normally wouldn’t do.
  • [45:46] The inability to stop drinking after that first drink.
  • [47:20] If you’ve had to ask if you have a problem, you might already have your answer.
  • [47:36] The first step is to identify that you have a problem, then you can just reach out to someone like us to talk about it.
  • [48:17] Ben is grateful that he has gone through what he’s gone through, because the life he lives today is amazing.
  • [48:44] There is a lot of freedom in being able to identify that you are an alcoholic. If you can put in some work, you can build a life beyond your wildest dreams.
  • [50:29] There are a lot of recovery options that are actually pretty awesome.
“Alcoholics are physically dependent on alcohol. Meaning your body can't go without having it. If you start getting the shakes and having alcohol withdrawal, you have crossed that line.” -Tom Conrad Click To Tweet

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