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How Can You Tell if Your Casual Drinking is Becoming a Problem?

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It is Friday evening and you are on your way to meet friends for a few after-work drinks. The original plan was to stop by a bar and have one or two casual beers as you promised your mother you would have brunch with her the following day. However, when you arrive, everyone’s spirits are up and you decide to have a few more…. And then a few more…

The following morning, you wake up to several missed calls and voice messages from your mother. You aren’t sure exactly what happened the night before, but as you gather your senses, you realize you must have fallen asleep with your clothes on from the day before. Your phone screen is cracked, and you aren’t sure how you got home.

There is a fine line between casual drinking and having a more serious problem. Perhaps you have always enjoyed drinking, but lately maybe it seems like you are drinking to relieve stress and escape your worries rather than simply for fun. If you think there is a chance you may be developing an unhealthy dependency on alcohol, review the following signs, and do not be afraid to reach out for professional help if you conclude that you may be developing an addiction.

How Does Drinking Affect Your Life?

Looking back on recent events, has drinking had a negative impact on your life? Whether you cancelled plans with friends or family members because you were too hungover, skipped work or received negative feedback regarding your job because you couldn’t put the same effort in as a result of drinking too hard, or blacked out and woken up to messages from friends saying that you were simply just being mean and rude the night before, drinking heavily will always have negative effects on your life. If you can recount multiple ways drinking has been detrimental to your professional and personal life, you may have a problem.

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What Happened Again?

In today’s society, the mainstream media portrays blackouts as being a common occurrence. However, regular blackouts put you and your health at serious risk, and are often a sign that you have a problem with alcohol.

If you are the type of person who often has to ask what happened the night before, or if you find your partner or friends recalling things you said or did the previous night that upset them but that you cannot recall, you may have a real problem.

When You Stop Drinking…

What happens when you haven’t drank in a day or two? Do you feel depressed? Do you experience physical shaking, fatigue, irritability, and intense headaches? These withdrawal symptoms are warning signs from your body telling you that it is in need of alcohol.

The terrible feelings of withdrawal mean that your body is physically dependent on alcohol. It may be time to seek professional help.

Concerned Close Friends and Family

If you have family members or friends who have mentioned that you may be drinking too much, or that they no longer enjoy hanging out with you when you are drinking, this is a big warning sign. Be thankful that you have people close to you who are concerned, and pay attention to their worries.

I Only Had Three Drinks

Do you often lie to your partner, friends, or family members about how much you have had to drink? If you often find yourself telling people close to you that you drank less than you actually did, this may be a sign that you are trying to lie to yourself and them to avoid a discussion about your drinking problem.

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What Are Your Hobbies?

Do you go to the casino to drink while you play poker? Do you make sure if you are going out to see a movie that you and your friend grab a beer before? Do you have any hobbies that do not include having a drink or two?

If you need to drink in any and all social situations, this is a big indicator that you have a dependency to alcohol.

I May Have a Problem – What Now?

If reading through this list has made you realize that you may have a problem with alcohol, do not worry. Addictions arise for a multitude of reasons, and an addiction is nothing to be ashamed of.

Alcohol dependency is a complex condition that can only be resolved through alcohol addiction treatment. In a treatment facility, you will learn where your addiction stemmed from and develop coping tools so that you can begin to live a healthy and fulfilling life in sobriety.

Feel free to reach out for help and begin the healing process with one of the counselors at Destination Hope. We are available to offer advice and support to you today.

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