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“Am I an Alcoholic?” Understanding and Seeking Help

Alcohol is so common in society that it can be difficult to tell if someone’s drinking is an issue. If you’re questioning “Am I an Alcoholic?”, you may want to evaluate your relationship with substances.

What is Alcoholism?

People often use both of the terms Alcoholism and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). They both refer to excessive drinking that interferes with a person’s ability to live life. However, Alcoholism is not an actual diagnosis. 

The clinical terms for alcoholism are Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol Dependence. These are what the DSM-5 and insurance classify alcoholism as. 

Alcohol Use Disorder is classified as mild, moderate, and severe. When diagnosing AUD, doctors ask a series of 11 questions. The diagnosis and severity of AUD rely on the variable responses to these questions.

Two types classify excessive drinking: heavy drinking and binge drinking.


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Types of Alcohol Consumption

Heavy and Binge Drinker vs Alcoholic

AUD may affect heavy and binge drinkers, but it is not always applicable. The important distinction between the two is what happens when the drinker tries to stop.

Heavy and Binge drinkers may choose to stop for a variety of reasons. This can be because of social or financial consequences. It could also be because they are unsatisfied with their drinking, and want to make a change. 

Regardless of the reasoning, heavy and binge drinkers are able to give up drinking relatively easily. While it may be difficult at first, they find that their finances, overall health, and social relationships improve. This alone can be enough for them to continue with a sober lifestyle.

For those with AUD, quitting drinking is not as simple as just putting it down. They may find themselves drinking regardless of any consequences: be they legal, financial, or social.

Those struggling may not even want to continue to drink the way they do. The overpowering mental obsession and cravings overwhelm attempts to quit drinking. They may even have physical withdrawal symptoms. This often leads to a relapse from sobriety. 

Those in the second category of drinkers can receive a diagnosis of Alcohol Use Disorder. Understanding the impact that alcohol has in someone’s life is important to diagnose AUD. 


This "Am I an Alcoholic" quiz is not intended to serve as a diagnostic tool. Its purpose is only for reference. If you receive a high score on the quiz or have concerns, strongly consider consulting with a licensed professional. They can provide a comprehensive assessment and appropriate guidance.

This quiz is not a substitute for professional advice or diagnosis. 

Signs of Alcoholism

Psychological Signs:

Psychological Signs:

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Long Term Alcohol Abuse

Physically, alcohol abuse can damage a person's appearance. It may lead to a worsened appearance of:

  • Skin problems (Rosacea, Acne)
  • Bloating
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • Wrinkles
  • Bad body odor
  • Long term AUD can have negative effects on vital organs. These can include:
  • Weakened immune system
  • Heart damage
  • Liver damage
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Increased risk of cancer

What Makes an Individual At Risk for Developing Alcoholism?

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Treatment for Alcoholism

Seeking treatment for alcohol abuse is a courageous and brave decision. When someone recognizes the need for help, they should look for specific qualities in a treatment center.

Constant medical care is imperative for someone detoxing from alcohol abuse. The dangers associated with detoxing from alcohol can be life threatening. At Hotel California by the Sea, we employ 24/7 staff in our detox and residential programs. This ensures the safety and comfort of our patients.

Once the detoxification process is complete, the real work for battling AUD begins. Taking a comprehensive approach to treatment is important. In our facility, we offer holistic treatment options. This type of treatment accompanies the mind, body, and relationships of those suffering.

Hotel California by the Sea aims to heal all aspects of the person rather than just their substance addiction. Taking this approach raises the likelihood of long term and successful recovery. 

Hotel California by the Sea is prepared to support you on your path to sobriety. Contact our admissions team today to create a future that is both bright and free from substance abuse.

How to Find an Alcohol Rehab

Every member of our admissions team has been where you are today - be sure to ask them about their journey!

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Jason Kellogg, MD, is a seasoned Psychiatrist. He has held the title of our Medical Director at Hotel California By The Sea since 2017. With a 26-year career, he leads our team in providing top-notch treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. Dr. Kellogg, a Summa Cum Laude graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, holds a Medical Degree from Wright State University. He completed his Psychiatry residency at the University of California Irvine College of Medicine, serving as Chief Resident. Kellogg has held leadership roles, including Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at Hoag Hospital. There he earned the Physician of the Year award. He is also CEO of Progeny Psychiatric Group and is Board Certified in Psychotherapy. Actively involved in esteemed organizations, he contributes to research and education. He has presented at conferences such as the American Psychiatric Association and the United States Psych Congress. Dr. Kellogg is dedicated to helping those battling with substance abuse to recover. 

Clinically Approved by: Dr. Renu Kotwal, MD, has been the Medical Director at Hotel California By The Sea’s Ohio facilities since 2018. With 30 years of experience, she leads a team of treatment professionals, including physicians, nurses, and therapists. Dr. Kotwal is recognized as a top Psychiatrist in Cincinnati by Cincinnati Magazine. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and American Society of Addiction Medicine. Board Certified for 24 years, she completed her Psychiatry residency and Chief Residency at S.U.N.Y. Health Science Center in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Kotwal has contributed to the field through published articles, presentations, and teaching positions in psychiatry. She also serves as a Psychiatrist at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Kotwal is committed to applying her extensive knowledge to facilitate the recovery of individuals struggling with addiction and alcoholism.