How do I know if I am an alcoholic?

Am I an alcoholic?

How do I know if I am an alcoholic?

Firstly, let’s do away with the term ‘alcoholic’; it’s an old-school term that comes laden with centuries of baggage and which hinders progressive thinking about alcohol use and possible misuse.

Instead, let’s use the term alcohol dependency. As the name suggests, alcohol dependency means that you are reliant on alcohol; you need it to get through the day or night or job or other event.

So now we ask ourselves, ‘Am I dependent on alcohol’? Where is the evidence?

Evidence is an interesting thing. Often, we are reluctant to accept the so-called ‘evidence’ of others. They cannot see into our lives; they do not witness what we do 24 hours a day. Many times, other people’s ‘evidence’ comes steeped in moments of anger or frustration or wider histrionics. Their evidence is accusatory; they tell me I cannot give up. Well, I don’t need a lecture. I am confident I can give up if I need or wanted to. I know me!

But we can find evidence – which presents itself in simple black-and-white terms – as to whether we are dependent on alcohol or not. And this evidence comes from real-world behaviour. Behaviour that demonstrates objectively whether one is able to drink (and not drink) according to a predetermined routine.

The ACR is just such a routine or regime. It is a six-week program of periods when drinking is allowed and periods when drinking is not allowed. If you can complete the six-week ACR program, then you have evidence that alcohol does not have a dependency over you. If you fail the ACR, you have evidence that alcohol exerts more of an effect over your life than you first thought.

The key thing here is the ACR offers no judgement. It is a simple program which only you need to be privy to. It was developed by Nick Charles MBE, the first person in the UK to be honoured by the Queen ‘for services to people with alcohol problems.’ Thanks to Nick, the ACR has helped guide many, many people over the years.

So, when you ask yourself the question ‘Am I an alcoholic?’, you need to answer the question for yourself. For many people, it will be the singularly most important question they ever ask themselves. Through the ACR, you will have the evidence you need to either move forwards in understanding your alcohol dependency, or reassuring yourself that alcohol does not have a firm grip over you. Knowledge is power. And the power remains in your hands entirely.