Where is the line that separates a heavy drinker from an alcoholic? Is there a difference? Some questionnaires and brochures attempt to prescreen whether or not a person is an alcoholic. The problem is that those questions may not be answered truthfully by someone who is looking at it subjectively. They believe their problems are caused by everything but their drinking. Other people, world events or just bad luck are responsible for their misfortune. Most often, they will continue drinking until something drastic happens that will cause them to examine their drinking. They may rationalize it, blame others or refuse to admit they have a problem. That fine line may be invisible to a problem drinker, because they refuse to see it. That is denial.
If you are wondering about your drinking and are willing to look at it objectively, here is a way to determine if you may have a drinking problem: If drinking is causing you problems and you continue to drink anyway, then you may have a drinking problem. The self-check seems so simple, yet it can be tough to face the honest answers.
Not everyone who experiences an unfortunate incident while drinking has a problem. However, when a person continues making mistakes that are the result of drinking excessively and chooses to go ahead and keep drinking, that’s when they’ve crossed the line. It’s not that they are unlucky; they are not a victim of circumstance. The world is not out to get them. Their problem is due to drinking too much, which leads to bad decisions, and they keep on drinking. If they could stop drinking, many of their problems would most likely diminish.
So ask yourself this question: Will my life be better without alcohol? It’s time to be proactive. Reach out for help and develop a plan to get sober. Psychological Services Bureau (PSB)/Substance Abuse Resource Program (SARP) at (213) 738-3500 is an excellent place to start. If you are sworn, Peace Officer’s Fellowship is available. You can contact one of the members listed here and they will be more than happy to assist a fellow deputy.