If you don’t party until the early hours every night, you have nothing to worry about, right? Maybe not. Many people think that unless you’re coming home every night, a normal drink won’t hurt anyone, but that’s not always the case. How have you stated that you only want ‘one’ and suddenly you’re making one night? The heavy drinking sliding scale starts with much smaller amounts of alcohol than most people would think. Drinking just a couple of pints after work during the week.
What exactly is too much?
There are three main categories of ‘problem’ alcoholism and many are surprised how easy it is to fall into the first …
Heavy or dangerous
- Drinking above the limits recommended by the Government is classified as excessive or dangerous consumption.
- In Britain, just under a third of men and one in five women drink above the government’s recommendation.
- To put this in perspective, just two large glasses of wine will allow you to exceed the recommended daily intake. Even if you’re not having tequilas at the bar every night, you may be drinking too much.
How will I know if I am dependent on alcohol? You may feel the urge to drink alcohol during the day, experience withdrawal effects between drinks, or drink large amounts at once.
How does alcohol affect your life?
Taking a step back and observing the role plays in your life is very important. You may feel that drinking is not having a negative effect on your life and that you do not need to drink. However, drinking could still affect your health.
At what point does having a drink or two become something you should worry about?
Besides looking at the unit intake, it is important to note the following:
Need to drink: Avoid a situation or event because you know you won’t be able to have a drink while you’re there. You feel anxious or worried about the origin of your next drink.
“Just One More Drink”: Realizing that you can’t go for half a pint.
Drinking in the closet: secretly drinking or even telling a little lie about how much you drink.
Doubtful Drinking Behavior: Regularly regretting the things you’ve done while drunk.
Watch for physical signs that may indicate that you are drinking too much. These may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach problems
- Memory loss, blackouts
- These are just the short term effects.
It can also affect your daily appearance, causing blemishes and red spots on your skin and adding weight to your love handles.
Drinking and Mental Health
Many people are unaware that alcohol can affect their mental health and well-being. The common symptoms of drinking too much include;
- Altered sleep patterns
- Feeling agitated and / or anxious
- Slow brain function that affects concentration and memory
However, serious problems, like isolation and depression, can result from excessive alcohol consumption and could cause serious family and work problems.
When should you seek help?
If you suspect that you may be drinking too much alcohol, you probably have a drinking problem.
Dr Sarah Galvani, principal investigator at the University of Bedfordshire, recommends keeping a beverage diary to record what you drink, how much, and with whom. She argues, “This can help you get an idea of how you drink and how it can help you make some changes.”
If you don’t currently drink any alcoholic beverages, think carefully before you begin. If you are going to drink, drink responsibly. I will expand on these points later and also point out the consequences that may follow if my words of caution are lightly dismissed.
How about an occasional drink, okay?
An occasional drink every now and then when I go out at night or when meeting friends in a private setting, if I do it responsibly, at least for me, it is relaxing and helps me get rid of the anxieties and stress of the moment . For a few minutes you can forget that there is a whole world out there that you have to relate to in various ways: family, friends, work, neighbor, whatever; everyone is entitled to their time. Everyone is trying to get your attention and if you don’t have a way to release stress it can sometimes seem like too much.
The important thing to realize is that while a fancy temporary flight away from your troubles may buy you some breathing room, the problems you had before you had that drink are still there when you finish it. It leads you to solve the problems that exist in your life and you do this by taking constructive measures specifically designed to meet the need. So be aware of your limit and then stop drinking. All kinds of problems can come your way if you don’t stop when you should.
If you are drinking away from home and need to return, you could ask a designated driver or taxi to take you there. This would be a better decision than driving home when you’ve had too much to drink. Aside from the fact that it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol when your normal faculties are impaired, you could negligently cause significant property damage, seriously injure or kill someone and, in the process, injure yourself and lose your driving privileges. or even commit suicide. It’s not worth the risk of getting behind the wheel when you’ve had too much to drink. Too much can go wrong and you could end up paying for that mistake for years to come. A lesson that he will have had to learn the hard way.
Although I was now retired, while still practicing law, I represented many people accused of drunk driving. If someone is beaten and killed, a conviction for manslaughter could land that person in state prison for a long time. Nobody wants that to happen. Even if no accident occurs and nothing happens other than being cited for driving under the influence, a court appearance is necessary and you could lose your driver’s license, with the possible exception that you are only allowed to drive for reasons labor. How can that be? There are no wheels available to take you where you want to go. Having to depend on others to travel.
If you are under twenty-one, are you old enough to legally drink where you live?
The legal drinking age may vary in each jurisdiction. Check to make sure you understand what the legal drinking age is where you live. If you have not yet reached the minimum drinking age, act responsibly. Do not forget an ID card to show an age attained that is incorrect.