How drunk are you socially?
If you feel like you may have a drinking problem, you most likely do.
Habitual drinking, especially in social settings, can be a fun activity with friends. Unfortunately, too much of anything can have terrible consequences. Many people turn from being social drinkers to binge drinkers socially, which may eventually lead to alcoholism in some cases.
And while it’s easy to overlook some concerning drinking habits when performed in a group, like at parties, weekend get-togethers, and vacations, awareness should be your best friend. If you think you may be suffering from a drinking problem, below are some factors to think about.
Examine Your Drinking Habits
Studies suggest that 90 percent of people who drink too much, both adolescents and adults, do so through sessions of binge drinking. Do you find that you finish your drink before everyone else and reach for a refill? Are your friends making jokes about how much alcohol you can “hold in” because you can do it so much? These may be red flags to stop and think about.
Track Your Frequency
There are many places to go and activities to perform that don’t necessarily entail drinking. One of the things you might want to track is how many times you go out with the purpose of drinking to the point of drunkenness. Are you planning bar nights every other day this week? Are you spending too many late nights drunk with your friends? Are most of your mornings plagued by hangovers and headaches from the night before?
Alcohol is a social lubricant – it makes it easier for us to socialize, be pleasant, act cheerful, and forget the stresses of our days. That said, if you feel like you need to drink more than your peers to merely “catch up” with the general mood, then there may be an underlying psychological matter that you will want to address. Drinking excessively just to be sociable will not only cause major physical damage to your body but can be dangerous in terms of safety and security.
Observe Your Peers
If you feel like you don’t have a reference to determine how much is “too much”, then look around! Is everyone in your social circle drinking the same amounts of alcohol as you? Do they all end the night on an extremely drunken note, while everyone else at the bar seems to have it together? Do you all share stories of hangovers the next day, while your work colleagues show up to the office refreshed? It may be peer pressure that’s leading to everyone’s binge drinking. You will want to reevaluate your relationships with your drinking buddies, the places you go, and alcohol in general.
It May be Time for a Reality Check
If you feel like you may have a drinking problem, you most likely do. While drinking alcohol is a harmless, fun activity, abusing it can lead to dependence and addiction, as well as numerous health issues. To evaluate your current situation, it’s best to start by examining your drinking habits, look into the reasons behind any excessive drinking, and identifying if peer pressure is involved. Help is out there, and it’s best to seek it sooner than later.
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