There is nothing wrong with enjoying a drink or two with friends. This is a legal and perfectly normal social activity that around two thirds of Americans participate in. Problems start when drinking becomes more of a habit than a pleasure; when it becomes something that you cannot put a stop to. It’s important to realize that you do not have to be addicted to alcohol for it to be a problem.
If your drinking is starting to have an impact on yourself and others, then you need to make changes. If you do not do something about the problem, you can end up spiralling towards addiction. Alcohol can cause serious problems in your life if you let it. If you need it, there is help available from places like this facility. So, how can you tell if you are not in control of your drinking, so that you can get the help that you need?
It’s difficult to have just one drink
If you are in control of your drinking, you should be able to plan to limit your alcohol consumption and stick to that plan. A sure sign that your drinking is getting out of hand is when you cannot just go out and have one alcoholic drink.
Drinking is not just a social activity, it’s a coping mechanism
Drinking at a social event is mostly a harmless activity. However, the situation is very different if you are drinking alcohol in order to escape from the pain of a situation, such as loneliness, depression or stress. It may seem as though the alcohol helps initially, because you feel relaxed. However, alcohol is a depressant. This means that the more you drink, the more you are likely to feel “down”. This leads to more drinking to try and deal with the situation and pretty soon you are stuck in a vicious circle.
Giving up alcohol is not possible
You may tell people that you can give up drinking alcohol whenever you want; but is that true? If you tried to stop drinking for a significant length of time, could you do it? If you would find it very difficult then your drinking has become a problem.
Blackouts and memory lapses are common
Many people experience blackouts, or memory lapses, as a result of drinking too much alcohol. If this is a one-off occurrence it should not be too much of a problem, depending on what happens during the blackout. However, if you black out on a regular basis, you need to change your drinking habits.
Sober and intoxicated personalities are very different
Most people change a little after a few drinks. For instance, they may become louder or over emotional. However, if your personality radically changes when you drink, this is a sure sign that you are no longer in control of your drinking. It could also be a sign of underlying psychological issues.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself, you need to make changes in your drinking habits. Talk to friends or family about the problem, or seek professional help if you need to.