Drinking to Excess: Do You Have a Bad Habit or a Full-Blown Addiction?

Do You Have a Bad Habit or a Full-Blown Addiction

Self reflection comes easier to some than to others.  This is especially true regarding negative or unwanted realities.  For example, hardly any person will have an issue with realizing they have a great talent.  However, when it comes to addiction, most are not ready to look within and admit they have a problem.  Many people drink to be “social,” but the term is subjective.  Two drinks in one night can be social to one person while 20 drinks could be another person’s definition.  Do you have a habit or an addiction?  It’s important to make a distinction so you can proceed in a healthy and wise manner.

Do You Have a Bad Habit or a Full-Blown Addiction

Hiding and Lying

No one feels the need to hide or lie about occasional drinking.  If you’re over the drinking age and drink responsibly, there is little to no reason to feel ashamed or lie about having a cocktail after work on a Friday.  However, if you find yourself having trouble with admitting how many drinks you’ve had or how many times you go to the bar or liquor store each week, this may be a sign that you understand your level of drinking is not aligned with what is seen as ‘normal’ for most.  Also, if you don’t admit to the true number of drinks, no person is going to call you on it or insinuate that you have a problem.

Relaxing and Feeling at Peace

Life is wonderful and equally stressful at times.  A lot of factors contribute.  Some people have a higher threshold for feeling stressed while others use exercise, art, time with friends, etc to alleviate unwanted feelings.  Sure, alcohol temporarily provides us with an escape from reality.  It’s the reason why people head to ‘happy hour’ after work or enjoy a few drinks on the weekends.  However, if you feel as if you ‘need’ a drink to feel relaxed or at peace, it can become an issue.  Who doesn’t want to feel peaceful and relaxed often if not all the time?  That means you would need to drink just as often to reach that state of wellness.  No one should feel as if they need a drink to feel good.

Blacking and Passing Out

Drinkers build a tolerance.  A person who drinks each day has a higher tolerance than a person who drinks once a month.  However, alcohol has a similar effect on all brains; the difference is how much it takes to reach the same effect.  Those who have a problem with drinking, drink excessive amounts.  It’s hard for them to stop or realize a limit, so the body has to stop for them, which means frequent episodes of blacking out from too much consumption.  Sure, many stories of partying and movies depicting good times equate happiness with ‘getting wasted,’ yet you don’t need to get wasted to have a good time.

Deciding to Drink and Neglecting Duties

Those with alcohol problems are convinced they can drink under any circumstance, whether it means before driving, while working, etc.  For most, there is a time and place to drink, such as having a few beers with friends during a fishing trip or drinking a cocktail with a coworker at dinner.  Drinking, when you really know you shouldn’t, is a sign that you have a problem, a sign that you need to drink more versus just wanting to drink.  Such actions often coincide with neglecting duties related to work, school, parenting, etc.  Drinking can be a small deviation from daily activities but it should never interrupt duties or fracture long-standing relationships.  Such insight can be sensed by an individual but now fully realized until getting help from an alcohol recovery centre.

Distancing and Ruining Relationships

Unfortunately, for those with alcohol issues, the bottle comes first, before friends, family members, and personal wellness.  A pattern of distancing and alienating oneself from friends and family members usually coincides with a drinking problem.  There are many reasons why friction develops in relationships, but if you seem to have problems with multiple people, it’s likely that it’s not coincidental.  There is a pattern developing and an underlying common denominator – the drinking.

Quitting and Relapsing

Most alcoholics are not ‘bad’ people.  Any person can fall victim to the horrible cycle of addiction.  Many alcoholics are intuitively aware of their problem and try to cut down or quit, which results in periods of quitting and then relapsing.  Unfortunately, the relapses usually coincide with drinking harder and more frequently than before.  A part of the reason is to hide the inner despair the person feels for ‘failing’ to quit and not following through with intentions to rid themselves of the habit.

Vernon Lewis has family members who have suffered with alcohol addiction. Keen to educate and inform those around him of the dangers and what to look out for, Vernon is now taking it 1 step further by writing articles for an online audience.

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17 Comments

  1. While I don’t have an addiction I know a few people who do and it’s so sad. It has broken up a lot of relationships. I tend to drink when I’m stressed, but nothing really hard, but I think I need to find a different way to relieve stress before it gets out of control.

  2. Before I got pregnant, we definitely enjoyed having a fun night out of the week, but we never really get out of hand. I can definitely see how this post could be beneficial to someone who is struggling.

  3. Drinking to excess is definitely a problem in today’s society. While I’m not much of a drinker myself (I enjoy a good cocktail on occasion), I know quite a few people who drink to excess.

  4. My grandfather was addicted to alcohol so I made a decision years ago to just say no to alcohol. I saw the problems it caused in my grandpa’s life and I didn’t want to carry on that tradition.

  5. Addictions are tough. Thank you for sharing these reminders; good information for all of us whether we struggle with alcohol or not.

  6. I have known several people who have a bad relationship with alcohol. I don’t drink often- if at all- partly because I would not want to be addicted.

  7. I have seen many people suffer with alcoholism and it is such a consuming disease. Noticing all the signs of addiction early can however change the outcome.

  8. I enjoy a drink every once and a while but it has never been a huge interest of mine. It is scary seeing someone deteriorate from their drinking addictions.

  9. I think this is a hard topic but something that is very important to address. This is not something I have had to deal with personally but I have seen the heartache it has caused for others. Thanks for sharing such great information.

  10. It’s very sad to watch someone drinking themselves to death and not being able to overcome the addiction on their own. Hopefully this post can help some people.

  11. My neighbor is an alcoholic and she lost her kids and so many jobs. She doesn’t have the want to quit nor the will-power and I don’t know how to help her until she’s ready to help herself.

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