Once you turn 21, alcohol is a legal substance to consume at your own pleasure. While drinking alcohol can make nights out a little more fun, and can be a great way to celebrate a special event, for some people it can become a problem if you overdo it.
So you rarely say no to a glass of wine at dinner or a second or even third cocktail at Friday night cocktail hour, but that doesn’t mean you have a drinking problem, does it? That depends on a range of other factors, such as how often you drink, why you drink, and whether you feel like you rely on alcohol.
According to a recent study by the American Health Organization, a high number of people are in the ‘danger zone’ when it comes to alcohol. Apparently, nearly a third of Americans have a drinking problem at one point or another in their lives, but only 20% of people choose to seek help.
Of course, a lot of people don’t know how to determine if they are drinking too much, because alcohol has become such a large part of social culture. So, to help you determine if your drinking habits are healthy, below is a guide for ways that you can tell whether you’re drinking like a normal person or whether a stint in rehab might be in order.
You go crazy on the weekend
There’s a common misconception that unless you drink every single night, you can’t be an alcoholic or have an alcohol problem, but that isn’t the case. If you abstain from drinking alcohol all week only to go out and binge drink every weekend, this is a sign that there’s a problem, or at least, an issue brewing. This is not a healthy relationship to have with alcohol. Drinking a large amount of alcohol in one go is binge drinking, and it can become problematic.
You’re drinking alone
A wise man once said that it’s never a good idea to drink alone, and he was right. The occasional glass of wine while having a solo dinner is one thing, getting flat out drunk on your own is completely another. Drinking a lot while alone is a sign of a serious problem, and one that could begin to escalate out of control.
People are concerned about you
If a friend, family member or co-worker has mentioned that they are concerned about you and your drinking habits, then it may be time to cut back. The first step is to understand you’re drinking more than you perhaps should be. The best thing to do is set some goals for yourself, such as when you are and aren’t allowed to drink. Set a limit of no more than two drinks on a night out or at a social event, and stick to it, and don’t drink alone.
Alcohol abuse is a slippery slope to go down, and one that it’s best to avoid at all costs if possible. It all starts out with drinking one too many cocktails on the weekend, and then things can begin to spiral out of all control. So, if you think that you may be on the brink of a drinking problem, or already have one, don’t put off dealing with it, deal with it now.