Skip to content

Am I an Alcoholic?

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

In the United States, there are over 139 million people who use alcohol. It is the most commonly used and abused substance nationwide. In fact, if you added up every other substance user, alcohol use would still be more common by over 40 million people. However, not everyone who uses alcohol is suffering from an alcohol use disorder. If you are unsure about the answer to the question, “Am I an alcoholic?” we can help you find the answer. At Harmony Bay, we offer a variety of therapies for mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorder. If you’re seeking help for a drinking problem and you live in the greater South Jersey area or Cherry Hill, NJ, Harmony Bay can help.


According to the DSM 5, otherwise known as The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition, 11 criteria indicate substance use disorder. If you have two or three symptoms, you likely have a mild alcohol addiction, bordering on physical dependency. Having four or five of the indicators may mean that you struggle with a moderate alcohol use disorder. However, having six or more of these criteria indicates a severe alcohol dependency, and should be addressed with professional treatment and sobriety support groups. These criteria are:

  • You drink more alcohol or for a longer time than you originally intended to.
  • You spend a good deal of your time obtaining, drinking, or recovering from your alcohol use.
  • Though you want to cut down on your drinking, or you have tried, you haven’t been able to.
  • You crave alcohol.
  • Even though alcohol has caused problems in your relationships, you keep drinking.
  •  Your responsibilities at home, school, or work have fallen to the wayside because of your drinking. 
  • You have given up your hobbies, profession, or social activities so you have more time to drink.
  • You continue to drink, even though it puts you in danger or you engage in dangerous activities. 
  • You’ve built up a tolerance to alcohol, so it takes more to get the same effect.
  • Even though you have a physical or mental problem that gets worse when you drink, you continue to use alcohol.
  • When you don’t drink, you get withdrawal symptoms, which don’t go away unless you take another hit of alcohol.

At Harmony Bay, we understand that no one intends to become an alcoholic. There are several factors that can lead to this behavior, including childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. By treating the underlying causes that are driving you to drink, we can help to get you on the road to recovery.


If the answer to the question, “Am I an alcoholic” is yes, don’t panic. It’s not too late to get therapy. However, it is vital that you get the therapy you need as soon as possible, even if you only have a mild alcohol use disorder. It’s considerably easier to treat a mild alcohol dependency than it is to treat a severe one. 

At Harmony Bay, we know that there are many reasons you may have begun using alcohol. For example, some people drink to numb their symptoms of a mental disorder. If you have a psychiatric disorder, we can treat both that and your alcohol use. We treat many mental disorders, including:

To learn more about the question, “Am I an alcoholic?” call Harmony Bay today at [Direct]. We have therapists and psychiatrists in Cherry Hill, NJ. We will work with you to overcome your alcohol use and give you back the life you’ve always wanted. Contact us today to schedule an assessment.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.