Not everyone who drinks develops alcoholism or a substance use disorder. There are many people who can go out and have a drink with friends and be done with it. They don’t need to have alcohol to be social or to wind down after a long day. If they do drink, they only have one or two, then stop. However, sometimes people have a hard time knowing their limit and keep drinking more or more frequently. Before they know it, their drinking can become problematic and lead to more serious issues such as alcoholism.
Substance use disorders are not something to be taken lightly. They can take a major toll on your health and quality of life. In addition, they also impact those around you. Addiction does not exist in a silo. However, Above It All can help you to turn your life around and overcome addiction. You can get the support you need to quit drinking and stay on the road to long-term recovery. Your family can also get help and together you can rebuild your life and create stronger, healthier relationships and routines.
But the first step is recognizing when your drinking is becoming problematic and taking action.
Signs Your Drinking is Becoming Problematic
Drinking often and in greater quantities that can be a red flag.
- You drink more than you used to or more often.
What started as one drink after work has turned into several drinks. You may justify it to yourself saying, “Just one more,” but one more turns into a few more. Or perhaps you only used to drink on weekends and now you’re drinking on weeknights too. Overall, the amount of alcohol that you’re consuming has gone up.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends no more than four drinks per day and no more than 14 drinks per week for men, and no more than three drinks per day and no more than seven drinks per week for women.
- You need to drink more to feel the same effects.
In time, your body develops a tolerance to alcohol. In order to feel the same effects, you have to drink greater quantities. Some people mistakenly believe that having a higher tolerance is a good thing, but it actually puts them at greater risk because they may not be aware of exactly how much they’re really drinking. If you’re developing a tolerance, it could be a red flag that your drinking is becoming problematic and it’s time to seek help.
- You’ve tried to cut back or stop drinking on your own but it hasn’t worked.
Have you tried to stop drinking but always ended up starting again? Not being able to quit despite your best efforts can be a sign of addiction. However, entering treatment for addiction can provide you with the strategies and support you need to stay sober.
- Your drinking is negatively influencing your education, career, family, or more.
Have friends or family expressed their concerns about your drinking? Do they not enjoy being around you when you’re under the influence? Alcoholism can also take a toll on your job if you’re calling out sick a lot, showing up late, missing deadlines, or not performing as well as you used to. This may not seem like much at first, but it can build over time.
- Drinking is your go-to when you’re stressed, bored, upset, celebrating, etc.
Do you always have a drink in hand or think about drinking? If you use alcohol as your main way to relax and unwind, feel more comfortable in social settings, or deal with challenges, this can be unhealthy. You can easily end up drinking more than you intended. It is essential to find other ways of coping and healthier ways to reduce stress.
- You’re having trouble with your memory.
Forgetting someone’s name or what you went into a room for happens to everyone now and again. But excessive drinking can lead to more serious problems. If you have trouble remembering what you did the night before, are blacking out, or just feel as though your mind is always hazy, it’s time to get help for addiction.
- You experience symptoms of withdrawal when you stop drinking.
After you stop drinking, you may feel dizzy, nauseous, or restless. Your muscles may tremble, you may get sweaty, and you may have trouble sleeping. These are just a few of the signs of withdrawal, and a major sign of problematic drinking. With proper treatment, you don’t have to always feel sick, tired, or hungover.
If your drinking has become problematic, there is help available. Above It All offers comprehensive treatment from inpatient to outpatient to recovery support and more, allowing you to enter into long-term recovery and build a brighter future. You can figure out what works best for you and implement new strategies and routines to live a healthier lifestyle. You don’t have to be controlled by addiction, and drinking doesn’t have to be a part of your life to have fun or relax.
If someone you love is exhibiting these signs, let them know that you’re concerned and you want to see them get better. Provide support and encouragement to help them get into the treatment program that’s right for them. Holding an intervention can be helpful if they are in denial or other attempts to talk to them about entering treatment have been unsuccessful.
There is life after addiction, and Above It All can help you to better see what your future holds. Learn to reduce temptation and cravings, create a healthier lifestyle, build a strong support system, and reduce your risk for relapse. Recovery is possible at Above It All, and we want to help you make the most of your future and live free from addiction.
- NCADD, Signs and Symptoms. Accessed February 1, 2016.
- Mayo Clinic, Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder). Accessed February 21, 2016.
- Helpguide.org. Drug Abuse and Addiction. Accessed February 19, 2016.
- Start Your Recovery, Signs of a Problem. Accessed February 21, 2016.
- Drugabuse.com, Symptoms and Signs of Drug Abuse. Accessed February 22, 2016.