Nothing is wrong wanting to end the day with a glass of your favorite wine or to head out to a club for a drink or two with your friends. In fact, doctors say a glass of red wine a day is excellent for your health.
The problem creeps in when you start becoming dependent on alcohol, which could quickly become a dangerous addiction that is very difficult to overcome.
Here are some warning signs your drinking is getting a little out of hand.
Alcohol is a centerpiece of your life
If you can’t imagine living a day without alcohol, that is a warning sign. Feeling that any activity must include drinks could be a sign you’ve become dependent on alcohol.
Having an alcoholic beverage each day can be good for your health, but having your week’s worth of glasses in a single sitting negates every single benefit alcohol can offer and can become a slippery slope into a much bigger problem.
Binge drinking is particularly dangerous because it raises blood pressure and interferes with certain medications. Other dangers of binge drinking include alcohol poisoning, unintentional injuries, s3xually transmitted diseases, s3xual dysfunction, liver damage — the list is long.
You need alcohol to feel confident
There’s even a little science that backs up the notion that alcohol boosts confidence. Researchers conducted an experiment at a local bar, asking 19 people to assess their attractiveness on a scale of one to seven after ingesting some booze. Their alcohol levels were then measured, and the results were pretty interesting: the higher the amount of alcohol drank, the higher the reported self-confidence of the subject being interviewed.
Sadly, this liquid courage can be quickly replaced with horror at the behaviour you exhibit while under the influence.
You begin to shirk some of your responsibilities
One sure sign that your drinking is becoming a problem is you begin shirking your responsibilities at work or home.
Do you call in sick repeatedly because of a hangover? Do you find yourself putting off things because you’d rather have a drink instead of getting the laundry done or finishing up a project at work or school? Perhaps you’re distracted at work because all you can think of is the drink waiting for you at the end of the day.
These can be signs that you have a problem with alcohol.
People close to you are concerned
When your relationship with those close to you gets affected because of your drinking, there is a problem. Those close to you may have commented about your drinking so many times, or do you find yourself evading those closest to you to avoid any confrontations?
Do you find that you hide your drinking so no one knows just how much you was consuming? While you may not yet be addicted to alcohol, drinking alone is certainly a red-flag situation.
Alcohol dependency and addiction can become a very lonely experience.
Do you find your drinking is tied to your emotions? Do you drink to feel better when you’re down? Do you drink to avoid facing the difficulties of life or a traumatic experience? If so, you are self-medicating and this is never a healthy behavior. If you find yourself reaching for a drink when you start feeling down, it may be time to take a look at the causes behind your feelings instead of covering them up.
You’ve developed a high tolerance
If you have a problem with alcohol, you may find you need more to get that warm, fuzzy feeling again. That’s because your body has become accustomed to alcohol and your brain has developed tolerance. It demands more to get that same feeling. As this tolerance increases, you may soon fall into dependency and eventually, full-blown alcoholism.
Other organs in your body adapt to high alcohol consumption, as well. When you begin to drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, your liver adapts by producing larger amounts of the enzymes needed to break down the alcohol more rapidly than it does in people who rarely drink. The liver actually becomes more efficient at metabolizing alcohol so you need more to achieve the same effect.
If you don’t get your drinking in check, you may soon come to find that the only way to feel normal is if you have the needed alcohol in your system. You’ve passed the brink where alcohol brings any pleasure anymore. In fact, you stop feeling the buzz from alcohol at this point, and you can’t go about your normal activities without the alcohol your body needs.
In the end, you may not have a problem with alcohol and can enjoy a glass of wine from time to time. That’s awesome because you are also reaping the health benefits of moderate drinking. Enjoy!
Be careful, though, that you are not deceiving yourself. If you are experiencing any of the warning signs, it may be time to put down the glass and enjoy a different way of living.