Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be in desperate need of residential rehab advice to be in a position where cutting down alcohol consumption would be beneficial. In fact, research suggests that the overwhelming majority of adults who consume alcohol on a regular basis are consuming far more than experts recommend. Which in turn means that from a medical perspective, the vast majority of people could in fact do with cutting down.
But at what point should you acknowledge the fact that your drinking has become problematic? Where exactly should any responsible adult draw the line between moderate alcohol consumption and a genuine alcohol issue?
The problem is that with each and every person being unique and having unique viewpoints, the answer will often differ in accordance with who you ask. Nevertheless, there are certain guidelines issued by experts, which can if nothing else help highlight what may be an emerging alcohol issue.
So while it may not necessarily confirm that the time has come to check yourself into rehab, identification of any of the following six signs could indicate that you have a drinking problem:
1 – You’d Like to Cut Down, But Don’t Know How
First of all, one of the most common signs of alcohol dependency is knowing you could do with cutting down, but not knowing how, when or where to start. This is typical in instances where the individual in question is living a lifestyle that is so focused on alcohol, removing it from the equation seems almost impossible. Not that this is a particularly uncommon lifestyle these days, but it is nonetheless a lifestyle that can be highly detrimental, or even dangerous. Nevertheless, the simple fact of the matter is that if you would like to cut down but cannot fathom how, this immediately illustrates that alcohol has taken control out of your hands.
2 – You’ve Tried to Cut Down, But Failed
Likewise, it’s comparatively common for heavy alcohol users to attempt to cut down, but find themselves unable to do so. Many drinkers make concerted efforts to reduce alcohol consumption or eliminating from their lives entirely, only finding the time and time again, they fail. This is often written off as relatively normal, but in truth constitutes confirmation of an alcohol problem. In any instance where control has been lost and alcohol has effectively taken control, this constitutes a serious problem.
3 – Your Friends and Family Are Concerned
It’s perfectly normal for friends and/or family to express disapproval on the odd occasion that an individual gets carried away with their drinking. However, should it be brought to your attention by someone else that your drinking has become habitual, heavy or in any way potentially problematic, this is something that should be taken seriously. Of course, there will always be those who are needlessly concerned and there is no pressing issue to deal with. Nevertheless, when potentially problematic alcohol consumption is brought to your attention by any other party, this is definitely the time to begin taking things a little more seriously.
4 – You’re Hiding or Lying About Your Drinking
If you are confident that your drinking habits are not problematic, there should be no reason why you should have to lie about or hide them from others. By contrast, if you find yourself in a situation where you are deliberately keeping your alcohol consumption under wraps, this comprehensively confirms there’s a problem to address. If there wasn’t, you wouldn’t be attempting to hide it from others.
5 – You Feel Guilt, Shame and Regret
The same also goes for any negative feelings that accompany the consumption of alcohol. Pushing to one side the obvious detrimental effects that accompany a hangover, any feelings of regret, guilt or shame regarding alcohol consumption in general suggest that things have slipped at least a little beyond your control. After all, when an individual continues to do something – despite the fact that it causes them feelings of guilt, shade or regret – this is largely the dictionary definition of an addiction.
6 – Other Aspects of Your Life Are Suffering
Last up, one of the most common warning signs of problematic alcohol use is when the individual in question begins allowing various aspects of their life to suffer. This can include anything to do with their home life, personal life, performance at work, social relationships and so on. When it has become clear that priorities are being shifted purely as a result of alcohol consumption, professional advice and intervention should be sought at the earliest possible juncture.