People who suffer from alcohol addiction often don't recognize they have a problem. You may have some vague sense that you drink too much alcohol or consume it more often than you should, but you still might not be sold on the idea that you need help for an addiction. Since denial is a roadblock to effective treatment, here are two things to consider that may help you see your alcohol consumption in a more realistic light.
How Much Is Drinking Costing You Financially?
One simple way to see how your drinking is affecting your life is to add up the amount of money you're spending on it. It's not as simple as tallying up how much you spend on alcohol each month, though the CDC states that excessive drinkers cost the state an average of $807 in 2010 on their habits. There are many hidden expenses associated with alcoholism that must also be factored in to give you a real idea of how much it's really costing you.
If you've ever been arrested for a DUI, you've probably spent an average of $5,500 on your case if you had a public defender, and possibly more if you hired a private lawyer. Even one conviction means you're spending more on auto insurance every month and you've likely been denied employment because you couldn't pass a background check or review of your driving record.
Depending on how severe your addiction is, you may be struggling with some alcohol-related health issues that cost quite a bit to treat. For instance, drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making it more likely you'll catch a communicable disease. Excessive drinking can also cause anemia which, in turn, can lead to the development of ulcers and chronic inflammation.
Taking a sincere look at all ways you've spent money on your alcohol consumption, both direct and indirect, can provide honest insight on your condition.
How Much Is It Costing You Emotionally?
People drink for a variety of reasons, but most of the time, it's to alleviate some type of emotional burden. The problem is the emotional release provided by alcohol is temporary at best, and the abuse of and addiction to the substance really only compounds your problems.
For instance, alcohol loosens your inhibitions, so you may say or do things that offend people and those people may avoid you in the future. The loss of close friends and family members can be painful, which may cause you to drink more to forget about it. Excessive alcohol consumption can also induce depression, so you constantly feel bad all the time and may drink to alleviate the persistent sadness.
It's a good idea to sit down with a counselor and discuss some of the issues you've experienced because of your addiction. The person can provide valuable insight into issues you may have previously overlooked.
To discuss your addiction to alcohol or treatment options, contact an alcohol addiction recovery counselor at a local rehab center.