From hiding alcohol to memory loss – All the Signs your drinking is out of control
Dan Wolf Director at Houghton House, says there are some key signs that point to exactly how much your drinking is out of control, offers these warning signs to help define when social drinking has developed into a more serious drinking problem:
It might be time to ponder just how much alcohol you’re consuming -and how much is just too much?
The Fun Factor
“Are you bad-tempered or impatient when you don’t drink?
Do you think you have more fun when you drink?
If you aren’t able to have fun unless consuming alcoholic beverages, your drinking is out of control and you may have a problem.”
“For women, having more than a couple of drinks on any day or at most seven per week signals substantial drinking (according to the SA National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Drinking in moderation is fine socially, but if you drink excessively and reach the point of intoxication on most occasions, you are at risk of developing alcoholism and other health problems.”
Drinking to release stress or anxiety.
“Stress and anxiety are very common emotions among us all, and people have various outlets in order to relieve the stress they are feeling,” says Dan. “The worst stress-reliever and the one that is most dangerous to use is actually alcohol. Using alcohol as a stress reliever often signals possible alcoholism and problem drinking, the problem is it can do the opposite of releasing stress by numbing your feelings and reduces your ability to cope with stress and anxiety.”
Being in Denial.
“Most people who imbibe excessive amounts of alcohol seem not to think that they have a problem with alcohol, particularly when it comes to alcohol consumption in a communal setting. Alcoholism is an elusive, patient progressive disease that can start out innocuously with just one or two drinks a day and accelerate to full out alcohol dependency and your drinking is out of control. Denying your need and addiction to alcohol points to an enormous problem, and it would profit you to appraise your alcohol habits and reach out to an alcohol treatment centre like Houghton House or other similar drug and alcohol rehab to determine if you need help.”
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?
So …What are you going to do about it?
6 Serious signs that your drinking is out of control
Six warning signs to help you understand if your social drinking has developed into alcoholism, your drinking is out of control and you have a drinking problem.
If you are finding it difficult to go a significant time without drinking it is a clear sign of a more significant problem with alcohol.
1) Responsibilities take the back seat
When you start to neglect things that are important to you, 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. Waking up with a hangover means less focus at work, or skipping a morning workout, when alcohol begins to affect your life there is no doubt that your drinking has gotten out of control. When it comes to detox and recovery from alcoholism, our Rehab in Johannesburg can help.
2) Unsuccessful attempts to abstain from alcohol
Be honest with yourself, find out if your drinking is out of control
Over time you will develop tolerance, 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 a social life.
3) Unable to stop at just one drink
People with a drinking problem find that they are often unable to drink without imbibing to excess. Being unable to control your alcohol abuse, or what the outcome of your drinking will be is a serious cause for concern.
4) Hiding or lying about your consumption
People who drink heavily, are often unable to admit that they have a problem. This however is the first step to breaking the hold alcoholism has over you. Fear of judgement might be at the top of your list, but often it is fear of friends and families opinions that keep the alcoholic from admitting they are drinking too much. Behaviour around denial include:
Dan discusses intervention and the Steps to Recovery
- 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 failing to do so.
5) Drinking to relieve stress, anger, anxiety or hardship
Consuming alcohol to cope with negative emotions is a very common prelude to addiction. This alcoholic behaviour forms a link between slight and extreme alcohol use, creating a risk that over time your intake will increase as you become mentally dependent on it. Using alcohol as a stress reliever is a sure sign of problem drinking.
6) Lapses in memory or blackouts
A sign that your drinking is out of control is if you suffer from lapses in memories or blackouts, large amounts of alcohol have adverse effects on memory, they cause episodes of short-term amnesia, blackouts are often the result of drinking too much alcohol in short periods of time.
Alcohol inhibits the brain’s ability to commit to memory, if you can’t remember what happened when you were drinking, or only have a hazy memory it’s a definite sign that your drinking is 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 to 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 a 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.
If you or a loved one are in need of assistance please do not hesitate to call our office for more information on dealing with alcohol abuse and getting yourself into rehab to start a new life, call Houghton House now: