The stereotype you may have of someone who has a problem with drinking doesn’t tell the whole story. The reality is, about 1 in 12 men and 1 in 25 women in American battle alcohol use disorder.1 Statistically speaking, you likely know someone who is drinking too much. However, you still see them show up to work and take their kids to soccer practice, or you rule out a drinking problem since you’ve known them for years.
What is the tipping point? For millions of people who wonder if they are drinking too much, this question is connected to mental health challenges, like depression or anxiety. While experts give no clear answer on whether alcohol and drug consumption lead to mental health diagnosis or vice versa, research does connect the two. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of those who battle alcohol use disorder experience a comorbid depressive disorder.2 Knowing whether you or a loved one has a drinking problem may support you in improved mental health and a better life overall.
Signs of a Problem with Drinking
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism constitutes heavy alcohol use as more than four drinks on any day for men or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, consuming more than three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks per week is deemed heavy drinking.3 Even if you don’t meet the heavy drinking threshold, you may still be drinking too much in a sitting.
Consider whether these warning signs for heavy alcohol consumption are true for you:
Drinking More or Longer Than Planned
How often do you find yourself drinking more than you originally intended to? If you find yourself having a drink or two more than you originally intended, it’s time to reexamine whether you have an issue.
Excessive Time Spent Drinking
Consider the total time that you invest in alcohol. In addition to drinking, how much time do you spend thinking about alcohol, purchasing it, and recovering from the last night? If your evenings are consumed with keeping the glass full and mornings with recovering, then your drinking habit may be reaching a problematic level.
Drinking More for the Same Effect
A gradual increase in alcohol consumption to achieve the same effect may indicate that you’re drinking too much. Over time, your body will lose sensitivity to alcohol. The more you need to increase the intake to feel the same, the more likely you may benefit from holistic alcohol treatment.
Consider whether you come across people, places, or events that spark the desire to drink. These are so-called “triggers” create undesired emotions or reactions, including heavy drinking. You will recognize your triggers as settings that don’t necessarily cause others to want to consume alcohol. Thus, they affect you differently than casual drinkers.
Relationships Become Strained
In an attempt to hide your drinking, you may discover you’re isolating yourself from friends and family. Be aware of changes in your relationships. If you continue drinking despite relational challenges, it’s time to address your consumption habits.
Don’t be fooled into believing you aren’t drinking too much because you’re able to maintain a job, attend family functions, or participate in other activities. Alcohol use disorder ranges from mild to moderate to severe.4 It’s crucial to address a drinking problem before it becomes severe.
Symptoms of a Problem with Drinking
If your environmental factors don’t reveal whether you’re drinking too heavily, consider your emotional reaction to drinking. A series of questions can guide you to the support you need to avoid or overcome alcohol dependency.
- Do I drink to cope with relational or emotional challenges?
- Do I blackout or forget events when I drink?
- Do I drink to feel better about a bad day or interaction?
- Do I drink not to feel emotional pain or anxiety?
- Do I drink to reduce worry?
- Do I attempt to hide how much I drink?
- Do I drink to prevent sickness from becoming sober?
While drinking heavily and maintaining many responsibilities is possible, a dependency on alcohol will eventually reveal itself. Turning to family, friends, and professional counselors for support now will allow you to regain control of your life and happiness.
Best Holistic Rehab Arizona for Your Problem with Drinking
You deserve better than a one-size-fits-all Arizona treatment center. Personalized alcohol rehab plans are an essential part of the recovery process. Silver Sands Recovery is proud to offer one of the best holistic rehab centers in Arizona.
Our experienced staff creates holistic treatment strategies for each patient. Whether physical activity like basketball or golf is a good fit or spending time in nature offers the mental clarity needed, our counselors build a plan based on your needs. Contact the Silver Sands Recovery team today to learn more about the facility’s holistic healing and admissions process.
About the author:
Lisa Waknin is the Founder and Director of Silver Sands Recovery, located in Prescott, Arizona. Lisa started Silver Sands Recovery after immersing herself in the addiction treatment world for several years to figure out what could be done differently to help her daughter and others like her to overcome addiction and stay sober. She believes in a hands-on treatment approach, which includes taking someone out of their environment, providing a 90-day program in a structured environment. During treatment, clients not only recover physically but also learn to live their life again. Lisa is a sought-after expert speaker for recovery support groups, charities, schools, communities, and companies wanting to educate themselves on the explosion of opiate and heroin abuse in our country and the best way to understand, treat, and beat it.