Let’s talk about problem drinking. Do you know someone who drinks just half a glass of wine and gets a little tipsy? Do you know someone else who has struggled with alcohol in the past and now can’t even touch the stuff? Maybe you’d place your drinking patterns somewhere in between these two extremes. But it’s actually this “in between” that can complicate things.
Problem Drinking: A Deeper Look
So, when does drinking become a problem? Let’s assume that you’re not physically addicted to alcohol and you don’t have any withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink. Let’s also assume that your drinking is starting to cause some issues in your life. Maybe you’re spending too much money going out with friends. Or maybe you’ve been using alcohol to deal with daily stress and anxiety.
But do you really have a problem?
It always helps when you know what to look for. Signs of problem drinking include:
- Regularly drinking alone
- Feeling guilty after drinking
- Feeling angry or violent when drinking
- An inability to stop drinking once you’ve started
- Preferring drinking friends over non-drinking friends
- Drinking to alleviate anxiety or stress
- Financial or employment difficulties brought on by alcohol use
- Experiencing blackouts
- Taking risks with your life or the lives of others
What Are Experts Saying?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, women who drink no more than three drinks on any single day and no more than seven drinks per week are at “low risk” for developing an alcohol addiction. Those numbers increase to no more than four drinks per day and 14 drinks per week for men.
The more drinks you have on a daily/weekly basis, the farther you move from the category of “safe” drinking and the closer you get to “problem drinking.” Even if you’re able to consume 20 drinks per week and experience none of the symptoms of problem drinking, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Consider your health!
The CDC states that excessive drinking is associated with numerous health problems, including:
- Chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, various cancers (including liver, mouth, throat, larynx and esophagus), high blood pressure and psychological disorders.
- Unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries.
- Violence, such as child abuse or neglect, homicide and suicide.
- Harm to a developing fetus if a woman drinks while pregnant, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Alcohol use disorders
Get the Help You Need
If you think you might have a drinking problem, don’t wait to get the help you need. We offer comprehensive addiction rehab services that focus on your physical and psychological needs before you take your first step toward sobriety. There are a variety of alcohol treatment programs available, and our counselors will work with you to help you choose the best program to support your goal of an alcohol-free life. Facing your addiction alone can be overwhelming. We’re here to help. Fill out this form or call today at (661) 630-4176.