Beer is the third most widely consumed beverage in the world, following only water and tea. Alcohol, whether it comes in the form of beer, wine, liquor or some other type of alcoholic beverage, is the most widely consumed mind-altering drug worldwide. A large percentage of all American adults consume some amount of alcohol on a regular basis, whether it is having a glass of wine with dinner, unwinding with a beer after work or going out for cocktails on the weekend with friends. Most of these people, however, manage to keep their drinking under control and are able to avoid developing a drinking problem. If you are concerned that you may be drinking too much and that you might be on your way towards becoming an alcoholic, here are some of the signs which you should watch out for:
You Have to Drink More to Feel Alcohol’s Effects
If you are finding that you now have to consume greater amounts of alcohol before you can get buzzed or drunk, you are most likely drinking more than you should. This situation is what is known as a tolerance, and it is a result of the fact that your body has managed to adjust itself to the fact that you are regularly drinking a substance which is essentially a poison. When you have a tolerance to alcohol, you will naturally have to drink increasing amounts before you can feel what you used to feel when drinking, and if you try to stop you are likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal.
You Feel Like You Have to Hide Your Drinking
No matter how much they may justify it, most alcoholics know that what they are doing is unhealthy and socially unacceptable. If you are finding yourself looking for ways to hide the fact that you are drinking, this should serve as a major red flag to warn you that you have a drinking problem. This includes making up excuses and alibis to explain your absence from work or family when you sneak off for a drink, as well as stashing away secret bottles in places so that you will have access to alcohol when you feel that you need it.
Others Are Noticing Your Drinking
Are your friends and family members expressing concern to you over the amount that you are drinking? Are you starting to acquire a reputation as being someone who can hold his or her liquor? If your drinking behaviors are attracting the attention of others, it is probably time for you to curb the amount that you drink and to reevaluate the ways that you are seeking to relax and to have fun.
You Are No Longer Drinking Only Socially
Drinking with friends or family at a restaurant, bar or party is one thing, but drinking alone is another. Having a drink alone from time to time does not make you an alcoholic, but if you are regularly opening a bottle or pouring yourself a glass while others are not around, this may be an indicator that your drinking is getting out of control. This is especially true if you feel compelled to drink, rather than doing it simply because you want to, and if your drinking is occurring several times per week or even daily. If your day-to-day routine includes consuming alcohol, you probably have a drinking problem.
You Don’t Feel Normal Unless You Drink
As mentioned above, people who consume large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis will typically begin to develop a tolerance to the drug. In addition to needing to drink more to get drunk, this also often leads to the point where the person no longer can feel happy, productive or even simply normal without alcohol. Whereas most people drink in order to experience some type of pleasant sensation which is above and beyond their normal state, those with a drinking problem usually do most of their drinking in order to maintain the state of normal. Unless they drink, these people will experience anything from crankiness to serious health complications. If your drinking has become a maintenance action rather than something you do to celebrate or relax with family and friends, it is time to be concerned that you have a drinking problem.
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