After having a long and stressful day, it is almost normal in our social culture to reach for a glass of drink to rest and rewind. After all, who doesn’t find the pinnacle of relaxation with a wine glass in hand? However, at what point do you realize that this casual and happy-go drinking habit has turned into a full-blown condition?
Alcohol consumption can start as a social habit and quickly escalate to a serious problem. As per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 25.8% of people in America engage in heavy drinking. A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that around 5% of global deaths worldwide were caused by alcohol, and young people were the most affected by this. These are alarming statistics that highlight how important it is to understand the initial warning signs of alcohol abuse and seek help before the situation spirals out of control.
Alcohol Awareness Month is marked every year in April to make people aware of the dangers of alcoholism and other issues related to alcohol consumption. First started in 1987 as a program directed toward college students, Alcohol Awareness Month is now a national movement that aims to draw attention to the widespread problem of alcoholism and alcohol abuse disorders.
Most importantly, Alcohol Awareness Month points out the stigma attached to alcohol abuse disorders and highlights how this stigma prevents individuals from reaching out and asking for the required help. The stigma also perpetuates a culture of denial where individuals and their loved ones often downplay the extent of a person’s drinking problems. They misjudge the initial signs, which only worsens the situation in the long run.
This Alcohol Abuse Awareness Month, let us dive deeper into the warning signs of alcohol abuse that indicate the need for proper professional help.
Warning Signs Of Alcohol Abuse
1. It is almost impossible for you to drink in small amounts.
While no amount of alcohol consumption is healthy, the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) fixes one-two drinks per day as the official limit for social drinking.
This brings us to one of the most common signs of having an alcohol problem – being unable to stop drinking once you have started. The thought of having just one more and one more after that and so on are continuously running in your head. People who are addicted to alcohol often forget to keep a check on how many drinks they have, and having one isn’t really an option for them.
2. People close to you are concerned about your drinking habits.
Having a friend, family member, or colleague discuss your alcohol habits with you is one of the first warning signs of having a misuse problem. If people frequently tell you that “you drink a lot” or ask you “whether you are drunk again” or there is a concerned emotion from your loved ones – these are usually the first signs of alcohol abuse. If people are noticing your alcohol habits, it already means that they are affecting your daily life, and it is time to reflect on your situation.
3. You use alcohol as a coping mechanism for difficult emotions or life situations.
If you frequently use alcohol as a coping mechanism like anger, stress, anxiety, or any other uncomfortable emotion or life situation – it most probably isn’t healthy. Over-dependence on alcohol to avoid difficult emotions signals that you might be developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
4. Your tolerance to alcohol has increased.
Everyone builds a certain level of tolerance for alcohol once they start drinking regularly. Think of when you first had a drink sometime more recently, and you can easily spot the difference. While this might sound normal, intense tolerance to alcohol is definitely something that you should monitor. As per RecoveryRanch.com, an addiction treatment platform, highly increased tolerance to alcohol is one of the key warning signs of the condition. It usually means that your body has been exposed to large amounts of alcohol frequently, resulting in increased tolerance. And that’s definitely not a good sign at all.
5. You are starting to worry about your drinking habits.
If you have lately started to worry about how much you are drinking, it is probably another sign of a drinking problem. If questions like “am I drinking too much” or “when was the last time I went without having a drink” frequently cross your mind, it is important to take note. It is also crucial that whenever these questions arise, you look for answers within you and are honest about them. If you feel like you have been drinking heavily, it would be the right time to reach out to a loved one or a therapist for support.
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Alcohol Awareness Month is marked every year in April to bring awareness around one of the most sensitive issues around us – alcohol abuse and addiction.
We hope this post will help you understand the warning signs of alcohol addiction. If you feel you or someone you love has been showing these signs, it is essential to reach out for help.
To learn more about the treatment plans for alcohol addiction, click here.
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