Excessive consumption of alcohol is a big problem in western societies despite the fact that figures have lowered since the 60s. In Britain alcohol is a major factor which contributes to many illness as a result of people drinking alcohol everyday. However how do you know if you have an alcohol problem?
Excessive consumption of alcohol
It is often difficult to categorise excessive consumption of alcohol. It is not always easy to know if you drink too much alcohol or not, especially if we don’t drink on regularly.
However if you’d like to quantify your consumption of alcohol, here are some questions you should be asking yourself.
1. Am I drinking alcohol more often than usual?
Physical and psychological feelings of missing alcohol are greater between each time you go without. This means that the need for alcohol also increases. Remember that the WHO considers that drinking more than 3 doses of pure alcohol for men and 2 doses of alcohol for women per day could pose problems.
2. Do I want to have a drink at the slightest difficulty or problem?
Every issue can be resolved with alcohol… or at least that its what someone who is dependent on alcohol will believe. They can begin to make connections between alcohol and managing to do things as they are less stressed.
3. Am I nervous when I don’t drink?
Difficulties in your daily life could cause you to drink alcohol, however nervousness could also encourage a person to drink more so that they feel relaxed.
4. Am I drinking an increasing amount of alcohol?
Similar to the first question, our bodies are looking for higher doses of alcohol so that we can feel good. A person who is addicted to alcohol will then increase the amount of alcohol they consume each time.
5. Am I drinking earlier than usual?
The moment that you decide to drink alcohol is a good indicator is you are becoming addicted. There is a big difference between someone who drinks a glass of wine or beer at 6 o’clock and someone who drinks at 8 in the morning. The first person is drinking to let loose while the other is drinking to reach their “normal state”.
6. Are negative consequences becoming more prevalent because of my drinking habits? (Fights, difficulties in getting through your day…)
Alcoholism causes many problems in everyday life. Alcohol is expensive and can affect your mental integrity. People who drink a lot of alcohol can often have difficulties remembering what they have done and their behaviour can change. These modification in behaviour can often be aggressive whether it is physical, verbal or sexual.
7. When I drink, do I manage to stop?
Once you have started drinking, only you can say when you want to stop. However when you are completely inebriated many forget what the do and are sick, display worrying behaviour or can even be hospitalised.
8. Do people around me notice how much that I drink and make comments?
Having a group of close friends is important as often they can help people suffering from alcoholism to realise that they have a problem. Although their interpretation is subjective, friends or relatives can help to set a person suffering from alcoholism on the right track.
Many people who are isolated or lie to their loved ones will struggle more when coming to terms with their illness.
9. Would I manage not to drink for a period of time?
Often the response would be no… When you try to reduce or completely stop your consumption of alcohol you can often get anxious. These feelings often won’t go away until you have another glass.
10. Am I able to hold my alcohol better than I did before?
It is normal for a person who drinks regularly to be able to hold their alcohol more easily. The body starts to get used to the necessary doses so that it becomes in an inebriated state. Often these doses get greater.
If you have answered yes to this question it will mean that you are drinking more alcohol more frequently which will tell you something!
Being dependent on alcohol, is when you are unable to function without drinking alcohol (often at regular intervals). This dependence may be psychology or physical, but usually both criteria are met at the same time.
In fact, when alcohol is first drunk it begins to affect the nervous system, especially as an anxiolytic. The molecules present in your glass will have an impact on the “GABA” system of your cortex, resulting in a false sensation of well-being. This happy sensation is what is often addictive.
But the addiction can also be physical. This is apparent in the characteristic tremors of alcohol addicts. When the dose is delayed, a small tremor appears (often in the hands) which then become more apparent. In this situation the person is physically dependent as the body needs a dose of alcohol so that it can function.
So… Am I alcohol dependent?
The last question you need to ask yourself is the most important. You need to ask yourself if you have a problem with alcohol. This is an encouraging sign. Once you realise that you have a problem you are half way to overcoming the problem.