While there is nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional drink, there are times when the line between drinking alcohol for pleasure and consuming it out of need can become blurred.
In that case, you may not even be aware that your drinking is becoming a problem.
If you find that one or more of the following warning signs applies to you, your alcohol intake might be becoming problematic.
1. You Often Drink More Than You Planned
Most people have been in situations where they drink more alcohol than they planned to, but if you find that is often the case, it could be an early warning sign that you are becoming dependent on alcohol.
Drinking more than you planned or drinking for longer than you planned could demonstrate that you have difficulty controlling your behavior and you, therefore, need to take action to curb your drinking.
2. You Binge Drink
Following on from the last point, if you find that you are binge drinking often, it could lead to alcohol abuse.
Binge drinking refers to consuming five or more alcoholic drinks during a session for men and four or more drinks for women.
A staggering 25% of people report binge drinking weekly. If that includes you, it could be a warning sign that you have a problem. In that case, you should seek help.
While overcoming hurdles to effective addiction help can take time and effort, you can get more of a hold on your drinking or stop altogether when you get help from professionals.
3. Your Tolerance Has Increased
If you used to feel the effects of alcohol after two drinks but it now takes more to get the buzz you want, it is a clear sign that your tolerance has increased.
When your tolerance increases, it is a sign that you are drinking too much. And the more your tolerance goes up, the more serious your drinking problem will be.
So, again, if you notice your tolerance for alcohol has increased, it is time to seek professional help.
4. You Crave Alcohol
Craving alcohol refers to wanting a drink so badly that you cannot think about anything else until you have a drink in your hand.
If you recognize that in yourself, it is a warning sign that your alcohol intake might be becoming a problem.
5. You Give Up Activities
Did you once do lots of other activities, such as hitting the gym, taking classes, or enjoying a hobby?
If you used to do such things but no longer do so because you have replaced them with spending time drinking at a bar or at home, you could have an alcohol dependency problem.
6. Your Drinking Is Affecting Your Relationships
If your drinking is starting to cause friction with your relationships, you could well have a drinking problem.
When you continue to drink despite the fact that it is majorly affecting your relationships with your partner, friends, and relatives, it is crucial that you get help to change your behavior and get your relationships back on track.
7. Your Drinking Is Affecting Your Responsibilities
When alcohol consumption is causing you to wake up with hangovers, miss deadlines at work, or forget to pick the kids up from school, you have a problem.
So, if your drinking is affecting any of your responsibilities in life, take note of the warning sign and get help so that you can turn your life around.
8. You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
Do you find yourself having trouble sleeping? Do you feel anxious, irritable, and shaky? Are you restless and feeling depressed? If the answer to those questions is yes, it is a sign that you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.
When you drink heavily over a long period of time, your brain chemistry will change.
So, recognize the warning signs of withdrawal symptoms and seek professional help to take back control.
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