How Can I Tell if my Drinking is Out of Control

With alcohol being a legal and socially acceptable mind altering substance, it is sometimes difficult to know if your relationship with drinking is unhealthy. In the society we live in where alcohol flows freely at any get-together, how can I tell if my drinking is out of control?

Six serious signs that your drinking is out of control

Here are six warning signs to help you determine if your social consumption of alcohol has developed into a drinking problem:

  1. Hiding or lying about alcohol consumption

  2. Drinking to relieve stress, anger, anxiety or hardship

  3. Lapses in memory, or blackouts

  4. Unable to stop at just one drink

  5. Unsuccessful attempts to abstain from alcohol

  6. Responsibilities take the back seat

drinking is out of control

  1. Hiding or lying about alcohol consumption

People who drink heavy amounts of alcohol frequently, are often unable to admit that they have a problem. This however is the first step to breaking the hold alcohol has over you. Fear of judgement might be at the top of your list, but often times it is fear of interference that keeps the alcoholic from admitting they are drinking too much. Behaviour around denial include:

  • Drinking alone
  • Saying you drank less than you did
  • Binge drinking
  • Convincing yourself that the problem is under control, contrary to the evidence.
  • Saying that you can stop anytime, yet fail to do so.
  1. Drinking to relieve stress, anger, anxiety or hardship

Consuming alcohol to cope with negative emotions is a very common prelude to addiction. This behaviour forms an association between relaxation and alcohol use, creating the risk that over time your consumption of alcohol will increase as you become physiologically dependent. Using alcohol as a stress reliever is a sure sign of problem drinking.

  1. Lapses in memory, or blackouts

A dangerous sign that your drinking is out of control is if you suffer from lapses in memories or blackouts. Large quantities of alcohol have adverse effects on memory, essentially causing episodes of short-term amnesia. Blackouts are often the result of drinking large quantities of alcohol in short periods of time. Alcohol inhibits the brain’s ability to commit new experiences to memory, if you can’t remember what happened when you were drinking, or only have a hazy recollection it’s a definite sign that your drinking is out of control.

  1. Unable to stop at just one drink

People with a drinking problem find that they are often unable to drink alcohol without imbibing to excess. Being unable to control your alcohol consumption, or what the outcome of your drinking will be is serious cause for concern.

Over time you will developed a tolerance to alcohol, meaning that it takes more alcohol for you to feel drunk. You may drink faster, or drink with the sole purpose of getting drunk, rather than to just enjoy the social experience.

  1. Unsuccessful attempts to abstain from alcohol

A definite sign that your drinking is out of control is if you cannot forgo alcohol consumption without the following:

  • Hesitation
  • Physical discomfort
  • Psychological distress

If you are finding it difficult to go a significant time without drinking it is a clear indication of a more significant problem with alcohol.

  1. Responsibilities take the back seat

When you start to neglect things that are important to you for the sake of alcohol you are already in the danger zone. This might be that you are normally a dedicated parent, but the alcohol buzz has allowed carelessness to creep in. Or waking up with a hangover means less productivity at work, or skipping a morning workout. When alcohol begins to affect a healthy lifestyle there is no doubt that your drinking has gotten out of control.

Be honest with yourself, find out if your drinking is out of control 

If you are unsure about the control of your drinking, seeking help may be the only choice.

If you feel that you can no longer control your drinking. You constantly drink much more than you should, you seem think about drinking all day, yo start wanting to drink at inappropriate times. You have serious withdrawal symptoms as a result of not being able to get drink when you want to.
You need more and more alcohol every time you drink in order to feel happy or good, and you realize that you cant manage your actions when it comes to your alcoholism.

If these issues are ones you are aware of, your alcohol intake is out of control. There are several thoughts you should consider as well as understand. Uncontrolled drinking causes the same issues as drug and substance abuse, and you should remember, above all else, that you need help.

If a loved one has voiced that they are worried about you, it’s time to cut back. Thinking that you may need to ask someone else if you are overdoing it might be enough of a sign that you clearly are. Similarly, if you are honest in admitting to your doctor the amounts that you are consuming, and if your doctor comments that the amount is excessive, you should pay attention. High alcohol consumption can cause major health problems.

Seek treatment once you’ve realised your drinking is out of control

Alcoholism is a subtle, progressive disease that starts out innocently with just a couple of drinks a few days out of the week, to full alcohol dependency. If you find that you cannot stop, reach out for help. Houghton House offers expert advice on alcohol addiction treatment options.


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