Was your New York DUI a sign of alcoholism?

Do you have trouble determining whether you engage in casual drinking or alcoholism? Learn to tell the difference before landing in more legal hot water.

Much to your chagrin and shame, you were pulled over by a New York cop and received a DUI. While you may have put the event behind you, you have to consider the possibility that the event may have been a symptom of a deeper problem. Have you crossed the line from casual drinker to alcoholism? Learn the signs so you can get help, if need be.

Learning the difference

There is nothing wrong with having a few drinks here and there, and maybe you just overindulged a bit when you were pulled over. On the other hand, you may display symptoms of alcohol abuse, which is when you drink excessively without a care for the potential negative consequences of doing so, or symptoms of alcoholism, which is when you have a dependence on alcohol or a psychological compulsion to drink. Note that alcohol abuse and alcoholism are not the same things.

Neglecting responsibilities

Do you drink despite knowing you need to work, take care of your kids or tend to other responsibilities? Maybe you have a few drinks when you should be studying or doing homework. Either way, choosing alcohol over responsibilities is a sign of a deeper problem.

Drinking to relax

Maybe you take care of all your responsibilities, but the only way you can truly unwind is by knocking back more than a few drinks. Again, a glass of wine or a couple of beers after a long day is fine, but when you drink more than three or four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks in a single week, it may be a good idea to seek out a professional diagnosis.

Drinking in secret

Do you keep your drinking habits a secret from your friends and family? If so, is there a specific reason why? It could be that you know those closest to you may start to worry if they learn just how much you drink or why you drink. That shame could very well be a symptom.

On the flip side, maybe your friends and family already know how much you drink and are worried. If you make excuses for your habits, ask yourself why you do so.

Getting drunk unintentionally

You may only plan to have a couple of drinks, but as the night (or day) goes on, you find yourself deeply intoxicated. Why? If this happens often and without a reasonable explanation, alcoholism could be to blame.

If you are dealing with yet another DUI in New York, enlist the aid of a legal professional. She or he may even be able to get you in touch with a specialist to help you determine whether you need help that goes beyond the legal spectrum.