It is no secret that we can all enjoy a glass of wine at a family gathering or a couple beers with friends after a hard day’s night. But it doesn’t have to be a go-hard-or-go-home situation every time. Social drinking can be the first step in a descending staircase that nobody ever wants to walk. There are many ways and reasons why someone might start abusing alcoholand noticing the signs of time might make a huge difference in the end. Here are 4 warning signs that show your social drinking might be turning into a problem:
Higher Tolerance Towards Alcohol than Before :
This happens with the regular intake of alcohol. Mostly like with any other addictive substance, our bodies require a bigger amount to get the same effects as the first time. This can very easily lead to an alcohol dependence where the intake has to increase to the point where liver damage can happen. At this stage, it is known as reverse-tolerance. This also means that our body cannot break down the alcohol leading to a faster intoxication.
Parties and nights out stop being the only situations in which we drink. An occasional beer with lunch instead of a non-alcoholic beverage. A glass of whiskey after work during weekdays. A couple beers on a Sunday morning while doing some garden work. All of these situations in which we normally wouldn’t be drinking alcohol, suddenly become O.K. We tell ourselves it’s acceptable to drink on any occasion and we find a way to justify it.
Defend your Drinking and How it’s not Affecting You as Much as People Think :
This is one of the most common and noticeable signs when we start having a drinking problem. People start asking questions on our drinking habits and we feel attacked or interrogated. We think we’re fine and we deny having a problem, so we argue back on everything that has to do with how much we’re drinking. When a friend asks if we’ve had too much to drink or if we’ve been drinking before even arriving at the party, we either lie about it or say we haven’t had “that much.”
Whether it’s because we’re having a stressful time at work, or dealing with depression due to a bad relationship, drinking alone becomes a good idea to deal with negative feelings or tough situations. Instead of talking it out with friends or family, we decide to resort to drinking. We start thinking that numbing those emotions will make it easier to go through hard times and that nobody else will understand what we’re going through. Drinking alone is a very dangerous sign because unlike the social drinking, there is nobody there to see how things are escalating and therefore it becomes a silent monster that grows in the dark, taking up more and more space in our lives until it becomes too hard to fight alone; and out of embarrassment, shame or guilt, we let it take over.
There are many other signs that we can spot to tell whether our drinking is becoming a problem or not. Many of these can be hard to find because they’re on a more personal level. Having an addictive behavior might start taking place in our lives without even noticing. That’s why it’s always important to keep an eye out for those that we love and that we know could be struggling or going through a crisis. Alcoholism is a problem that strikes regardless the gender, age or nationality, so never forget that no matter how tough things can get for us, it’s always O.K to talk.
If there’s anything you think we missed or if you simply would like to ask a question, please leave a comment below.