There’s nothing wrong with having a drink now and then. But casual drinking can easily slip into a problem. It’s hard to recognize where the boundaries are.
If you’re concerned about your drinking, it’s time to take a step back. Think about your drinking habits. Or think about the drinking habits of a loved one you’re concerned about.
Here are some signs that casual drinking has become something more. If you recognize any of these, seek help.
You Can’t Stop
How many drinks do you usually have?
If you find you can’t stop after one or two, that’s a problem.
Substance abuse doesn’t necessarily mean addiction.
Binge drinking is another common form of substance abuse.
Having more than one drink a day isn’t healthy.
If you binge drink once a week, that’s not good.
Binge drinking can have serious health consequences.
You might not need to totally stop drinking. Cutting back might be enough.
Not all addicts binge drink.
There are functioning alcoholics.
If you drink every day, you might have a problem.
Try going a day or a week without alcohol.
See what happens to your body.
If you have trouble staying away from alcohol, you have a problem.
You Can’t Function
When you abstain from alcohol, do you have withdrawal?
Withdrawal symptoms include shaking, hallucinations, and illness.
If you experience any of these, you should seek professional treatment immediately. You should go to a rehab center.
There are different types of treatment options available.
Here is just one type of rehab center.
You probably will need in-patient treatment.
Recovery centers give you the care that you need.
Your friends and family can help. But they aren’t experts.
Even if they are medical professionals, they can’t treat you objectively.
You need a place where you feel safe and will be cared for.
In addition to medical treatment, you should consider therapy.
You need to learn to talk about your problems.
Find coping mechanisms that don’t involve drinking.
Even if you aren’t an addict, therapy can help you learn about yourself.
You can find positive ways to change your life.
People Tell You
If someone mentions your drinking, address it.
They probably will say something before Casual Drinking becomes a huge problem.
Don’t ignore these comments.
Listen to them and try to cut back.
Ask your friends if they think you have a problem.
It’s a difficult conversation. But it’s a necessary one.
Have an honest conversation with yourself, too.
Write down your thoughts in a diary. Or take the time to ask yourself some serious questions.
The first step of recovery is admitting that you have a problem.
You’re Always Drinking
There are places where drinking is appropriate.
Bars, restaurants, and parties are places where there tends to be lots of drinking. Think about whether or not you actively seek these types of events out. Try to avoid them if it helps you cut back.
If you drink in inappropriate places, that’s a warning sign.
There are plenty of sober activities that don’t need to involve drinking.
If you find it difficult to get through them without drinking, seek help.
Actively try and do things that don’t involve alcohol.
Get out in nature and have some fun in the outdoors. Or head to the movies.
Get active and start exercising more.
Health is an important part of staying sober.
Drinking takes a toll on your body. It’s important to take care of yourself.
Ask friends if they don’t mind not drinking at dinner.
You don’t have to explain why if you don’t want to. They should respect your decision not to drink. You don’t need to say you’re struggling.
Avoid drinking alone.
Make a commitment only to drink with friends whom you trust.
Tell them that you’re trying to cut back.
Don’t stay out too late so you won’t be tempted to drink.
Drinking shouldn’t interfere with your life.
Frequent hangovers are a classic sign of alcoholism.
Frequently calling in sick might be a hidden sign of a problem.
If you’re so drunk you can’t do normal activities, that’s another warning sign.
Drunk driving is a serious issue.
If you don’t trust yourself with alcohol, don’t drive anywhere.
Alcoholism will also interfere with relationships.
You shouldn’t hide how much you’re drinking.
If you feel you have to hide it, there’s probably a problem.
Be open and honest with yourself.
Alcoholism sneaks up on people. It’s important to recognize the warning signs before the problem becomes worse.