With alcohol being a near staple within today’s cultural norms, social drinkers, casual drinkers, and occasional drinkers receive little if any rebuff for engaging in drinking behavior. That being so, it can be so easy to fall through the cracks once drinking behaviors cross over from occasional to excessive.
Responsible drinking is recommended by even the businesses that sell alcohol, including bars, nightclubs, and liquor companies, but rarely do those who drink in everyday situations do so responsibly 100% of the time. Spotting signs of excess consumption and knowing when it’s time to get help can save you from the heartache and frustration of alcohol abuse and addiction.
Moderate Drinking vs. Excess Drinking
According to the University of Rochester, within any given year, an estimated 14 million Americans struggle with alcohol abuse and addiction problems. When alcohol’s effects are at work, it’s difficult to see the dividing line between moderate and excess drinking. In this light, it’s no wonder why so many people develop drinking problems.
With moderate drinking, alcohol never becomes the focus of an activity or event in terms of drinking with the intent of becoming intoxicated. With excess drinking, the feelings and state of mind that come with intoxication become the focus and intention.
Do I Need Alcohol Rehab? – Questions to Ask
Alcohol’s diminishing effects develop out of the chemical imbalances that form as the brain’s tolerance levels increase. GABA and glutamate-producing cells, in particular, undergo considerable structural damage leaving them unable to provide needed chemical supplies in the absence of alcohol, according to the Scripps Research Institute.
If you don’t realize that you’re sinking into a deep hole of alcoholism, maybe your friends or family will. Often, loved ones notice the addiction before the drinking begins to recognize the problem.
Do I Drink More Than I Used To?
Social drinkers may intend to reserve drinking for social occasions, but the effects of alcohol can still alter brain chemical processes over time. If you once only had two drinks at social gatherings and now find yourself drinking twice that amount, or drink at home on a more frequent basis, physical dependence may be taking shape.
How Often Do I Experience Hangovers?
While the term “hangover” maybe a casual way of describing a hard night of drinking, the unpleasant symptoms experienced are actual alcohol withdrawal effects, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism. Someone experiencing frequent withdrawal episodes has developed a physical dependency, which warrants alcohol rehab help.
Is Depression or Bouts of Anxiety a Problem for Me?
Frequent drinking in any form can offset brain chemical levels to the point where psychological disorders start to take root. If you’re experiencing mood swings, feeling unusually anxious much of the time, or struggling with bouts of depression, these symptoms will only get worse with continued drinking.
Is Drinking Causing Problems in My Life?
Compulsive drinking behaviors are the hallmark of an addiction problem. Someone who keeps drinking in spite of the negative consequences it causes has crossed over from physical dependence to full-blown addiction. If you’re drinking causes problems at work, at home, or impairs your health, some form of alcohol rehab help is needed.
Have I Tried to Stop or Reduce Drinking and Failed?
If you’ve made multiple attempts to stop drinking to no avail, alcohol’s effects have essentially taken over your ability to control your life. An inability to prevent or reduce alcohol intake indicates a definite need for alcohol rehab help.