Is My Drinking a Problem?

Sometimes people drink more than they intended or become embarrassed about their behavior while drinking. When this happens more than once in short period of time, they may wonder if they are developing a problem with alcohol. Even with what is considered normal alcohol use, some people may worry about preventing a problem from developing. The following factors may be a sign of an alcohol problem:

  • Guilt about drinking – alcohol affects everyone differently, and some people may feel guilty about how they think or behave while drinking
  • Concerned loved ones – friends and family members may be concerned about alcohol-induced behavior or mood swings. People may be in denial about their habits, but loved ones often try to help by pointing out the damage of alcohol.
  • Regrettable behavior – people who do something embarrassing or drink a lot at one time may be worried about their consumption. Multiple incidents of excessive alcohol use or negative behavior due to drinking may be a sign of an alcohol problem.
  • Negative consequences – if alcohol use is hindering your performance at work, school or in relationships, it may be a sign of an alcohol problem.

These factors may need to be addressed to avoid worsening alcohol problems.

Differences between Alcoholism and Problem Drinking

Drinking is a problem when people keep drinking even though it is harming one’s health or other aspects of life. Drinking frequently leads to headaches, poor sleeping habits and irritability, and drinking too much may lead to arguments with friends and loved ones or irresponsible spending or behavior. People who experience these problems may not drink large amounts or be alcoholics, but with repeated problems and no change in behavior they may come to depend on alcohol to relieve stress or deal with social anxiety. This can eventually lead to alcoholism, even in those with no mental health issues or family history of alcoholism.

Alcoholism may be characterized by a lack of control over drinking as well as physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. Some individuals may be more susceptible to alcoholism than others, and they may only be problem drinkers for a short time before they become addicted. Alcoholism may be characterized by frequent heavy drinking and an inability to go without alcohol due to withdrawal symptoms and psychological dependence.

Why Problem Drinking May Lead to Alcoholism

Alcohol is a part of many aspects of culture and is generally considered acceptable. Even heavy drinking may be considered normal in many social circles, and those who choose not to drink are often mocked or given negative labels such as teetotaler. This cultural pressure to drink socially may increase the chance that some people will continue to drink, even if their alcohol use has caused problems. Regular alcohol abuse or problem drinking may lead to alcohol dependence and alcoholism.

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

You don’t have to be a heavy drinker or an alcoholic to benefit from alcoholism treatment. Alcohol abuse can have serious repercussions on health and relationships. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline to talk to a counselor about how you can benefit from treatment for alcohol abuse.