Alcohol consumption is not unhealthy, and alcohol can be consumed moderately. The Dietary guideline for Americans gives guidelines and requirements for safe and healthy drinking. However, one can slip into unhealthy drinking patterns without being careful. A National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report shows that about 28.6 million adults 18 years and older have had alcohol use disorder in the past year. Slipping into an unhealthy drinking pattern is often gradual. However, there are signs you can watch out for if you’re thinking, “Is my drinking a problem?”.
In this article, you’ll learn to recognize the signs of unhealthy drinking, what may put you at risk of developing this habit, possible treatment options, and how to get help if you’re experiencing any of the signs.
What Could Predispose You to Unhealthy Drinking?
Before we consider the signs to watch out for to know if your drinking is a problem, let’s consider some factors that may predispose you to develop an unhealthy drinking habit.
- Early age onset: Research shows that those who start drinking very early risk slipping into unhealthy drinking patterns. So, if you started drinking as a teen, you’re at a greater risk of building unhealthy drinking patterns.
- Family History: If you have relatives who have had drinking problems, you are also at risk of having a drinking problem.
- Trauma: If you have experienced distressing life events such as being at a crime scene, losing a loved one in an accident, or have been a victim of abuse. Trying to repress the distress from these events with alcohol can lead to unhealthy drinking.
- Living with a mental health condition: If you live with a mental health condition like depression or anxiety, you should also be careful about your alcohol intake as you are at greater risk of building an unhealthy drinking habit.
How to Know if Your Drinking is a Problem.
An unhealthy drinking pattern may sometimes go unnoticed, but here are some signs you want to look out for:
- Drinking more than you planned: One of the simple and most effective ways to know if you have a drinking problem is to check if you’ve taken more drinks than you wanted to in recent times. The inability to regulate the level of alcohol intake is one of the common signs of an alcoholic.
- Spending more time on drinks: If you have been spending more time on drinks than usual or than you would love. That may be another red flag. You could be slipping into an unhealthy drinking pattern.
- You need more drinks to get a similar effect: This concept is known as tolerance. This happens when your body needs more intake of alcohol to get the pleasurable effect you want. When this starts happening, you can tell you’ve begun to veer off, and this is also one of the signs of an alcoholic; they have more tolerance to alcohol.
- Crave and Obsession with Alcohol: When drinking becomes a problem, people often spend more of their time desiring to get another drink or obsessing over when they’ll be chanced to get their next drink. This can significantly affect your concentration and productivity in other areas.
- Drinking to reduce stress: One of the signs of an alcoholic is using drinks to cope with stress. When you turn to alcohol whenever you are stressed, you have begun to develop an unhealthy drinking habit.
- Using alcohol as an escape means: Rather than face the reality that confronts them, people with a drinking problem would rather live in a world of euphoria drinks offer.
- Harmful Social Consequences: If drinking has led to difficulties in relationships with family and friends or has started to affect your job performance or academic pursuit, it has become unhealthy. Persons with drinking problems can also make harmful decisions like drinking while driving, putting themselves and others in dangerous situations.
How to Get Help If Your Drinking is a Problem.
Unhealthy drinking can alter your health status significantly. It can lead to poor immune system function and increased risk of blood pressure and other heart diseases. An unhealthy drinking pattern can be addressed and treated effectively, especially if it is noticed early and medical assistance is sought. Treatment methods for helping people who struggle with drinking include detoxification, psychotherapies such as motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Medications can also be prescribed by experts if there is a need. Another vital program for persons with drinking problems is support groups that offer community, emotional support, and avenues to learn life skills to stay healthy.At CFC Recovery, we offer specialized programs and aftercare support to address alcohol use disorder. With our teams of experts and professionals, we offer services such as detox, counseling, support groups, etc. If you stay in New Jersey or nearby and struggle with your drinking or have a loved one who does, reach out to us today to explore our treatment facilities and programs.