We may not want to choose to admit it, but social drinking is often the common thread in our social lives. Whether it is having a few beers at a tailgate party, going to happy hour after a hard day’s work, sipping a cold one at a backyard barbeque or slowly savoring a glass of wine at a dinner party, alcohol is ubiquitous in its presence and is accepted as part of events where people gather and mingle. It is estimated that over half of the American adult population drinks alcohol on a regular basis, and chances are that a significant portion of people drink on a daily basis.
The fact that a considerable portion of adults drink in the United States doesn’t necessarily imply they all have a problem with alcohol. In fact, there are many people that have a drink after dinner or may meet your friends out for a fun night of cocktails and conversation and never experience any trouble. There may also be the odd moment where people may have lose track of how much they had to drink and may have an embarrassing moment on occasion.
However, what happens if those isolated incidents of embarrassing or bad behavior start adding up in your life? What if family and friends start showing concern and disappointment regarding your behavior when you are drinking? If this is happening to you, chances are pretty good that you may have a problem with your drinking and you need to take a step back and assess your behavior.
Signs That You May Have a Drinking Problem
When you find yourself in a situation where the the incidents of inappropriate behavior that are due to your drinking are becoming more frequent, you may be thinking to yourself that despite the evidence to the contrary that you aren’t an alcoholic and don’t have a drinking problem. To a certain extent you may be right; you may not be treading into the deep and murky waters of alcohol addiction just yet but there are definite signs that you do have a drinking problem. The signs that an alcohol problem is occurring are often subtle at first, but when left unchecked these smaller issues can snowball into a more serious problem.
A major sign that you are having a growing drinking problem is the fact that you have an increased tolerance for alcohol. Simply defined, tolerance to alcohol occurs when the amount you are drinking no longer has the same effect as when you first started to drink. As a result, you need to drink more alcohol in order to achieve the same effect. Increased tolerance can encourage more frequent use of alcohol and you can start developing a dependence issue which can gradually turn into an addiction issue.
Another sign that you have a drinking problem is the fact that your social life is increasing revolving around the use of alcohol. It is one thing to go out for drinks during happy hour or have an occasion fun night out on the town, but if you are wanting to be social only when there is drinking involved that you are showing signs of a drinking problem. Another telltale sign of a drinking problem is a noticeable change in personality. If family and friends tell you that your personality turns on a dime when you start drinking, that is a sign that you may have a drinking problem.
For those who have developed a drinking problem, they will experience a phenomenon known as the blackout, and it is perhaps the most frightening sign that a problem is occurring. When you blackout, you are completely conscious the entire time, but there are substantial gaps in what you actually remember. If you go out and don’t remember parts of your evening, have your friends remind you of what you did the night before, or are having to say “what did I do last night?” on a more regular basis, you are dealing with a drinking problem.
Additional Signs to Watch For
There are some other signs that you need to be mindful of in regards to the onset of a drinking problem. For example, you are experienced a problem with your drinking if you are starting to neglect your daily responsibilities. You can start skipping work because of a hangover or you may start missing family functions. One sign that people often forget about is the weekend warrior syndrome where people tend to binge drink on the weekends and abstain for the most part during the week. While you may not be drinking everyday, concentrating your drinking efforts in a short amount of time can cause health complications such as high blood pressure and you can suffer from acute alcohol poisoning.
If you are seeing the signs of a drinking problem and it is growing worse, you must seek professional help immediately. In order to help you break the cycle of alcohol dependence in your life, undergoing an alcohol treatment program at a reputable facility will give you the best chance at making a full recovery. These facilities feature treatment programming that can be individually tailored to meet your unique needs and is drawn from a wide variety of treatment services such as medical detoxification, 12-step programs, individual and group therapy and life and coping skills training.
Successfully completing an alcohol treatment program is only part of the solution. It is highly recommended that you also attend some form of aftercare programming such and intensive outpatient therapy or sober living. The focus of these programs is relapse prevention and will help you fine tune the coping skills that you need to deal with the stresses of your everyday life as you work your individual program of recovery.
If you are having a problem with your drinking and need help, Ocean Breeze Recovery Center has the programs and expert care that will help you address your problems in a proactive manner. Don’t wait another day to address your drinking problem; call Ocean Breeze Recovery Center toll-free today.