Alcoholics lie. That is part of the disease. They lie mostly because they are trying to hide their drinking and habits that they know are wrong. On an intellectual level, most drinkers and drug users know their drinking is a problem, but the addiction is so strong they often don't know how gain control over it or are ready to get help.
Case in point: Recently I had a patient of mine who I will call Billy. Billy was had a girlfriend and 2 small children and worked as a plumber. He woke up at 6am every day and got home at 5pm each night. He attended his kids basketball and tennis games and from the outside looked like a model father and husband. Billy had a dirty little secret. After his kids went to sleep his wife would say, "are you coming to bed?". His reply would be, "Just a few more minutes.". His significant other would then fall asleep and Billy would begin drinking. By the time he went to bed, and woke up, he was on his way to being sober again and the secret remained his. The problem was Billy was diagnosed with liver cancer and when the doctor explained to his family why, he said, "well, Billy's drinking is likely the reason". Everyone was in shock.
Alcoholism isn't always obvious. For some, it's easy to tell, but for others, its a lie that they live year after year and not getting any help or assistance.
This is a punch list of reasons you could have a problem:
- Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
- Lie to others or hide your drinking habits.
- Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking.
- Need to drink in order to relax or feel better.
- “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking.
- Regularly drink more than you intended to.
One step we all can take to better understand our drinking is to take an online alcohol education program. These courses are accessible and available to anyone and you don't have to worry about being viewed as a alcoholic. They can be taken in the privacy of your own home or office. Education is the key to change and is a critical factor in prevention at any age.