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Signs Your Drinking May Be Problematic

Signs Your Drinking May Be Problematic

You meet up with an old friend and drink long into the evening. While this type of drinking can be problematic the next day as you nurse a hangover, it doesn’t necessarily signal an overall problem. 

Conversely, every time you go out with friends, you tend to be the one who ties one on and your recollection of events is foggy. This very well could signal an issue that warrants a closer look.

The difference between recreational drinking and problematic drinking can be difficult to discern, especially during the early stages of an alcohol use disorder. To help, the team here at Northshore Health has pulled together a few red flags for which you should be on the lookout.

While alcoholism can have many faces and affect people differently, there are a few commonalities, and we review some of them here.

Are you concerned?

The fact that you’re reading this may provide one clue about your drinking. Your concern that you might have a problem is a clear indicator that something isn’t sitting well with you and your drinking habits.

These are questions that you should ask yourself and, if you answer yes to any of them, it’s worth taking a closer look at your drinking.

Needing more

Another sign of a brewing alcohol use disorder is a need to drink more to accomplish the same effects. You turn to alcohol for intoxication, but while three glasses of wine used to do the trick, you now need four or five.

Inability to quit

One of the biggest signs of alcoholism is an inability to stop drinking. If you wake in the morning and say that you’re going to avoid alcohol, but find yourself in the liquor store by the end of the day, this is one of the hallmarks of alcoholism. At this point, the chemistry in your brain has altered, and you’re met with cravings that you can’t control.

Another clear warning sign is physical symptoms, such as trembling and heart palpitations, that you develop when you try to stop.

Isolating and hiding

If you find yourself isolating more and hiding your drinking, these are clear signs of a problem. You hide bottles in the house and avoid socializing with others so you can be left in peace to drink. Or, perhaps you still like to socialize, but you drink before you go out so you feel like you’re in better form.

If your behaviors change to accommodate your drinking, then your drinking likely has more control over you than is healthy.

Binge drinking versus daily drinking

People often assume that drinking every day and day drinking are the biggest signs of alcoholism, and there’s ample merit to these beliefs, but alcoholism isn’t confined to daily drinking.

If you end up binging every time you go out, this can signal a problem. You can go days, or even weeks, without drinking, but the moment you have a drink in your hand, you lose control.

Again, alcoholism can manifest itself in different ways in people, but if you have any concern whatsoever, we urge you to come see us so that we can discuss the issue. To get started, contact our office Bothell, Washington, to schedule a consultation.

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