Heading out to the bar for a night of fun with friends and a few drinks is a great recreational activity for most, but when you start to ask yourself questions like, “Could I have a drinking problem?”, you might want to talk to someone about your drinking.
Most people with a drinking problem don’t realize that things have gotten out of hand until it is too late. Occasional drinking can quickly lead to overindulging if you are not careful. For those that have an addictive personality, or a history of alcohol abuse in their family, drinking too much is a risk.
Abusing alcohol can have a disastrous impact on all areas of your life. Drinking is hard on your body, specifically the liver; it can cost you a fortune, alienate friends and family, and affect your career. The path towards substance abuse recovery starts with asking yourself some tough questions. Let’s take a closer look at a few signs that may indicate that you have a drinking problem.
If you are drinking while you are alone and there is no specific reason to drink, you may have a problem. Most of us indulge in alcohol when we are around others. Getting home from a hard day and cracking a refreshing beer, doesn’t qualify you for a problem. But, drinking alone to get drunk may be a sign that you need to slow down.
Many people drink as a way to deal with painful emotional issues. Alcoholics often begin their journey by drinking as a way to self-medicate against the pain. If you have unresolved issues that you are struggling with, you may find that you are drinking alone more often.
On average, most Americans claim to have at least one alcoholic drink per week. This is considered to be moderate alcohol consumption. Binge drinking occurs when you have more than five alcoholic drinks on one occasion or consecutively drink at least one drink daily for more than 30 days.
Binge drinking can be very hard on your body and can lead towards alcohol addiction. Drinking alcohol daily can cause damage to your liver, increase your risk of stroke, and could cause cancer.
Many people have stress in their lives, but don’t have the proper management skills to cope with hard times. Instead, they turn to drinking alcohol to give them temporary relief. The problem with stress drinking is that it may clear your mind of your problems for a while, it actually can make your stress worse.
When you drink, your body releases certain chemicals that induce a stressful environment in the body. This means that the more that you drink, the more stressed you will feel. Stress drinking can often result in dependency on alcohol.
If you used to get a good buzz from just two or three drinks, but it now takes much more to get you drunk, you may be drinking too much. As you drink more, your body will build up a natural immunity to alcohol. This is a sign that your body is adapting to the abuse that alcohol does to its functioning systems.
With more alcohol, your liver will create more of the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down the toxins in alcohol. The presence of these enzymes in your liver can result in the breakdown of tissues and the risk of cancer. If you can drink a few drinks and not feel any type of tipsy or drunk sensation, you are likely drinking too often.
Disregard for Consequences
Having a few drinks can be a safe activity, as long as it is in moderation and you keep your other responsibilities in mind. People with drinking problems often continue to drink regardless of the consequences of that behavior.
A common sign that you are drinking too much is the lack of judgment. If you have found yourself behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking, it’s time to ask yourself some hard questions before you kill yourself or someone else on the roads.
Those that have a problem with alcohol often find themselves being dishonest or acting in denial. You may have felt the judgment of your inner circle surrounding your drinking and choose to hide or minimize your drinking activities.
If your personal relationships have suffered because of your drinking or your career has become unstable, you should ask yourself if it’s time to admit that you have a problem.
If you are thinking about whether or not you have a serious drinking problem, then the answer is probably that you do. Self-reflection can be uncomfortable, but it is a necessary part of the journey towards the help that you need.