Social drinkers can keep their drinking at a minimal level of alcohol consumption without making any effort. There are also a few individuals who can experiment with drug use without developing an addiction. These cases are rare however and these individuals should consider themselves lucky.
Many people develop a dependence on alcohol through what seems at the time a harmless habit. It's important to be able to recognize the signs of an early drinking problem so that you can get help. The following are 11 signs that a social drinking habit has crossed the line.
1. Making efforts to curb or stop your drinking.
This is commonly one of the first signs of a harmless habit that has become a bigger issue. A person who truly doesn't have a drinking problem won't feel the need to try and control their alcohol consumption because they know they have a choice between drinking or not drinking. When you regularly find yourself drinking more than you intended at social occasions, it may be a cause for concern.
2. Making plans around drinking.
Another strong indicator of a drinking problem is when a person begins arranging their plans around their drinking habit. They may choose restaurants, music venues, parties, or other social settings based on the availability of alcohol. Being able to drink when socializing becomes a top priority. Avoiding places where there is no alcohol available or not hanging out with people because they don't drink are other common practices with a problem drinker.
3. Needing higher amounts of alcohol.
This is a sign that a person's tolerance for alcohol is growing stronger. Having a need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effect means your tolerance is growing and you're headed toward developing a drinking problem.
4. Your hangovers get worse.
Severe hangovers with symptoms of nausea, headaches, sleep disturbances, and digestive issues are withdrawal symptoms. As a person consumes higher amounts of alcohol and develops a dependence, their hangovers will become more severe.
5. Your drinking begins to have negative consequences.
Getting in trouble with the law, DUI's, getting into verbal or physical conflicts with others, or otherwise behaving irresponsibly while under the influence is a big red flag. When these thing begin to happen more regularly, it's time to take a critical look at your drinking and consider getting help.
6. Drinking begins to interfere with life responsibilities.
If you begin to neglect career, school, relationships, or family responsibilities because of drinking, it's time to get some help.
7. Waking up feeling guilty or ashamed.
This happens when your behavior while under the influence causes you to do things you wouldn't normally do. This can include blacking out and not remembering what you did or where you were, getting into fights, engaging in sexual activity, or simply saying things you wish you hadn't. These are all signs that your social drinking has turned into a problem that is beginning to have an overall negative effect over your life.
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