Drinking culture can have a significant impact on your daily life, whether you enjoy visiting bars with friends over the weekend or enjoy drinking with your coworkers or social peers to cement working relationships. Some studies suggest that social drinking can even be rewarding for those who participate, but for some, it may turn into daily drinking that leads to alcoholism. The line between social or casual drinking and having a problem with alcohol can be a fine one, and there are a few signs to watch for that may mean you need help.
1. Reduced Attention To Other Leisure Activities
One way to gauge whether you are drinking more than usual is to think about the hobbies you enjoy and if you are putting them aside so you have more time to drink. Sports, crafting and reading may all fall by the wayside as you spend more time discovering new types of alcohol and shopping for them. If you look forward to free time so you can work your way through a bottle of wine, you may be heading down the road to alcoholism.
2. Increasing Your Alcohol Budget
If you buy a 12-pack of beer or a bottle of wine at the start of the weekend and it no longer lasts as long as it used to, you might start cutting back on other items to fit more alcohol into your budget. This points to increased alcohol consumption; for example, drinking every evening instead of on a Friday or a Saturday night. A continuous need to stretch your budget to include more alcohol may point to a drinking problem.
3. You Avoid Your Loved Ones
When social drinking morphs into alcoholism, you may take steps to hide your drinking from those who might disapprove, such as your parents, your siblings, and friends not in your drinking circle. This may partly be due to buried feelings of shame or because you prefer to spend your time with people who drink as much as you do so the amount you take in seems normal. Avoiding family holiday gatherings and parties may also be a sign that you want to hide your drinking,
4. You Binge Drink
Binge drinking is popular among young people, especially at college campuses. One 2018 study revealed that over 25 percent of individuals over 18 participated in binge drinking over the course of a 30-day period. While you might think of binge drinking as a social activity, it may become a more frequent occurrence the more you continue to drink. You might consider seeking help if the binging spirals out of control or you begin to blackout during these times.
5. You Neglect Your Responsibilities
Casual or social drinking is not usually a priority for most people. Finances, work, and family responsibilities come before the enjoyment of having a drink or two, but these can fall by the wayside as alcohol becomes a larger presence in your life. Missing work in the aftermath of a binge, spending money set aside for bills on alcohol, and neglecting to meet your parental requirements because you are drunk may be signs you need alcohol addiction treatment right away.
Excessive drinking may cause you to lose track of time, causing you to miss important appointments. Job interviews, doctor’s appointments, and meetings with your children’s teachers may all be pushed into the background as you indulge in drinking. Too much alcohol in a short period of time could cause you to blackout and result in missing time,
Social drinking can be enjoyable, especially when you share it with people who share your values and world view. However, when alcohol starts to permeate every area of your life, you may want to consider reaching out to get help for your addiction.