If you’re concerned about your health due to drinking alcohol, it can be helpful to figure out when drinking can become a problem. No matter what, it’s important to consider whether you have an addiction or not. Doing so can make it easier to seek treatment when necessary. Before drinking becomes an addiction, you may find yourself experiencing these stages.
Experimenting with Alcohol
Young adults often begin experimenting with binge and occasional drinking. Many teens tend to go to parties and participate in binge drinking. While drinking excessive amounts of alcohol once in a while may seem safe, it can actually be extremely dangerous and put someone in a coma or lead to death. Indeed, the feeling you have when drinking can make you have the desire to drink more frequently. One action leads to another and can only cause alcoholism to worsen with time and increased usage. It’s important to take time to evaluate just how much you drink and how it affects your everyday life. Doing so can be helpful in preventing alcoholism and addiction before it destroys your health and well-being. Experimentation may seem innocent, but a seemingly small habit can become a horrible experience you’ll wish you could have avoided.
Drinking Becomes More Frequent
When you start drinking more frequently, you’ve left the experimental stage. For instance, you may consume alcohol every weekend, instead of only sometimes at parties. Regular alcohol consumption is no longer considered moderate use because you may develop an emotional attachment to drinking. Most adults don’t have a problem if drinking is moderate. For one, you may have a problem if you drink to feel good while moderate drinkers combine a meal with a drink. Moderate drinkers may even be labeled as responsible drinkers because they usually know how to control their consumption and tend to commit to drinking a certain amount. Those who have a real problem will go out of control on a regular basis. This consistent behavior can lead anyone down a dark path not worth taking.
You Become a “Problem Drinker”
Not controlling your drinking habit enough can lead to problems drinking. In this stage, the impacts of your habit will affect you more. For example, you may experience sleep loss, or increased anxiousness or depression. While you may notice how heavy drinking affects your health, you won’t care to stop because you’re enjoying indulging in your habit. Besides this, you may start to have different friends and relationship issues. And your unpredictable behavior can cause you to avoid social situations, even though you may love socializing. You could even find it difficult to talk to strangers. Additionally, as a result of your habit, you may get in trouble with the law, or drink and drive. This behavior can make your life more complicated than ever. And this can deepen any anxiety or depression you may experience.
You Develop a Dependency
You can become dependent on drinking but not addicted to it yet. At this point, you’ve reached the stage where you can’t control your drinking habit. Further, since you’ve likely developed a tolerance, drinking larger amounts to get drunk can become the norm. And increased drinking means you’re damaging your body further. Withdrawal is another sign of dependence. Symptoms you may experience as you sober up include:
- difficulties with sleeping
- extreme irritability
- body tremors
At this last stage, you’ll indulge in compulsive behaviors. You may be addicted to drugs and/or feel a need to drink that doesn’t have to do with the pleasure it brings you. Craving alcohol means you don’t want it, you need it. And you won’t be consoled until you have another drink and another. No matter where you are or what time of day it is, you’ll drink as much as you want to.
In light of this information, being addicted to alcohol can ruin your health, happiness, relationships, and life. On the bright side, you don’t have to stay on this path of addiction because you have a chance to change your life for the better. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 833.970.2054.