Am I addicted?
Christoph Anatol HERDA, Psychiatrist
Many people know this and have experienced it themselves: there are periods of time in life, for example during the holidays or when life is perceived as stressful, that you drink a few glasses of wine or beer every night. Can you already call this addiction?
Of course not. But if this goes on for about 3 months and although you have good intentions to cut down, you still cannot decrease your intake, then it might have slowly started to turn into the beginning of a dependency. With alcohol the transformation is often slowly and sometimes takes years.
Please answer now honestly for yourself the next four questions:
1、Have you ever felt you needed to cut down on your drinking?
2、Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
3、Have you ever felt guilty about drinking?
4、Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
If you have answered one or more questions with yes, you might already have a problem and there is need to follow up with a more thorough interview. If there is habituation or dependency, we have to decide if the problem can be adressed by one of our psychologists in an outpatient setting, or if at first a detoxification as an inpatient in our intenal medicine ward is needed..
Because the longer the alcohol – or any other drug – has time to model the connections between your nerve cells in your brain to their demand, the harder it is to stop consumption.