Alcohol is socially acceptable in our society, which blurs the lines between social drinking and problem drinking. To make matters more complicated, there is no set number of drinks that makes someone an alcoholic. Alcohol dependency is more than a number, though an “acceptable” number of drinks is said to be no more than 14 drinks a week for men and no more than seven drinks a week for females.
But, here’s the thing. Just because you have more than 14 drinks in a week doesn’t automatically make you an alcoholic. People go on benders and have many drinks in a single night. Alcohol abuse is a combination of heavy drinking, regular drinking and pushing the limits.
Is Your Drinking Crossing the Line?
You do not need to hit rock bottom to get help. If you’re in the early stages of alcohol disease, you can get help from an outpatient rehab in Pasadena and get your life back on track. Of course, if it’s more serious, inpatient alcohol rehab can be helpful in breaking the habit and turning your life around.
Below we share seven signs that your drinking may be getting out of hand.
- You are hiding or lying about your consumption.
If you have to downplay the amount you’re drinking, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re drinking too much. You may be embarrassed about how much alcohol you consume, but you probably don’t want to deal with interference, either.
If your parent or spouse found out how much alcohol you consume, they would want you to stop. The growing addiction views this as a threat, which is why you feel compelled to lie about your habits. A common way that people do this is by drinking before they go out so it looks like they are drinking less.
- You use alcohol to cope with stress.
Some people enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a night out with friends to combat stress, which is acceptable. However, if you can’t wait to get home and start drinking because you’re stressed about work, paying bills or life in general, you are setting yourself up to be dependent.
When alcohol is used as a coping mechanism, it has a way of creeping into a person's life and forcing them to be more psychologically dependent. Normal, everyday stressors should not make you want to drink. If it’s starting to happen, find other ways to deal with stress, such as journaling, meditation or exercise.
- You can never stop at one drink.
People who abuse alcohol almost always have more than one drink. They don’t find purpose in having a single glass of wine or beer. Instead, they drink to feel the effects of the alcohol. They may even use other drugs to enhance these effects.
If you can’t control your alcohol intake, this is a cause for concern. It doesn’t take long to build a tolerance to alcohol, which means one beer can turn into half a case of beer and then a case of beer to provide the same effects. People without drinking dependencies are able to have a single drink and feel satisfied.
- You are experiencing problems in your relationships.
If you’re hiding your alcohol use, your loved ones may not know the extent of the problem. But, think about the health of your relationships lately. Any type of addiction takes a toll on relationships. You may be arguing more or having trouble connecting because your mind is always somewhere else.
As the consequences of a drinking problem become more severe - missing special events, getting into legal trouble - relationships only grow more strained. It takes a strong couple to get through an alcohol addiction, but it is possible. Alcohol rehab in California and family/marriage therapy are effective at restoring relationships.
- You don’t care to attend events without alcohol.
Are you willing to attend events where alcohol will not be served? If alcohol turns up at places where it shouldn’t, this is an indication that you can’t have fun unless you’re drinking. People with alcohol problems generally only attend events where alcohol will be present. They tend to get irritated or anxious if they have to go somewhere where alcohol won’t be.
- You have lost interest in the things you once enjoyed.
Usually, we associate this with teenagers, but it happens to adults, too. If you no longer enjoy the things you used to - sports, sewing, volunteering - it’s probably because the alcohol is consuming you. Your brain is changing as a result, and all it can think about is when the next drink is coming.
Because addiction is impulsive and demanding, it becomes harder and harder to focus on other things. You may find yourself counting down the hours until you can leave work and have a drink. This is how addiction starts, and it never ends pretty.
- You tried to stop drinking but were unsuccessful.
Perhaps you have tried to stop drinking. Maybe you were embarrassed of how much you consume or felt pressured from a family member. If you were unsuccessful in your efforts, this is a sure sign that things are worse than you can handle on your own.
You may need some type of intervention to stop the abuse. Typically, this includes medically supervised drug detox in California and time spent in a counseling program. The sooner you address the issue, the sooner you can get clean and sober.
Various Levels of Care Offered at Pax House Recovery
If you think that your drinking is getting out of hand, don’t wait until it’s too late. An alcohol problem can be successfully treated at a drug recovery program in Pasadena. Pax House Recovery offers various treatment modalities that are safe and effective. We also have cutting-edge therapies like art therapy and music therapy to enrich your recovery.
If you’d like to learn more about our various programs, contact Pax House Recovery today.