More recently, we wrote about alcohol addiction – and that for women, this problem is associated with social expectations and gender stereotypes. It seems to most of us that alcoholism does not threaten those who do not go into binges, do not get drunk until they lose consciousness, and generally consume only high-quality alcohol in an intelligent company. However, the first phase of addiction is easy to overlook, and excessive doses can be harmful even if there is no real addiction. We tried to figure out what to look for so that alcohol does not become a real problem.
You drink more than you planned
A safe amount of alcohol is considered no more than fourteen units per week – this is about one and a half bottles of wine or five glasses of beer. At the same time, not only the total volume of alcohol per week is important, but also its reasonable distribution – it is believed that binge drinking , when a person drinks four to five servings in a short time, also increases the risk of alcoholism, even if this happens only on weekends. If you regularly promise yourself not to drink more than a couple of glasses at a party, but you can’t keep your promise and stop in time, it’s time to think. There are cards that help you keep track of the amount you drink, but you can do it easier and download a suitable application .
A hangover disrupts your plans
A hangover may be partly related to the characteristics of the body and the type of alcohol, but still its main reason is the amount of alcohol consumed. Of course, this happens sporadically to everyone, but if you wake up with a headache in the middle of the week, cancel appointments, skip work, citing “poisoning” – you may be drinking too much. Before it’s too late, prioritize your morning wellness and high productivity. Missed workouts due to a hangover are just one example of the negative impact alcohol has on athletic performance.
You drink more than before
Even among those who drink too much alcohol, real addiction threatens only one in ten, that is, most people can stop, suspecting they have a problem. One symptom of alcohol use disorder is an addiction to the effects of drinking more and more to achieve the desired sensations. The ability to drink a lot, almost not drunk, is an alarming sign, not a reason for bragging.
Your social life is about alcohol
If you are not very interested in meeting non-drinking friends, and before going to a restaurant, the first thing you think about how to do without a car in order to drink normally, it’s time to change something in your habits. Try filling your calendar with non-alcoholic company activities , such as jogging, pottery classes, or going to the bathhouse with your girlfriends. If wine has become a daily tasty ritual, you can set yourself the task of finding a new favorite drink – even if you have to try a hundred varieties of tea, mineral water or kefir for this.
Are you hiding alcohol or drinking in secret
Drinking alcohol in secret from family and friends is a common symptom of the early phase of addiction. This happens when a person realizes that he is doing something not very good and does not want to upset loved ones – perhaps they have already shown concern. If you are ashamed to admit that you are thirsty, you probably feel that you are starting to lose control of your habit – and it begins to control you. It makes sense, on the contrary, to admit to your family that you have a problem and ask them for help – for example, spend more time with you, watch TV shows together, or go for a walk.
You feel bad and look worse
In small amounts, alcohol can be beneficial – for example, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but moderation is the only and most important condition for such prevention. If the amount drunk regularly goes off scale, symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, mood swings (alcohol is a known depressant) may appear. Dull skin and a “rumpled” appearance can be associated with dehydration or high stress on the liver, which so far can cope with it.
Are you afraid that there wo n’t be enough alcohol ?
You remember what time in the nearest store they stop selling alcohol, and in a hurry to get there in the last ten minutes – perhaps justifying yourself by going for bread. Conversely, you decide whether to finish the bottle of wine – and finish it because you know you will buy more. If such reflections appear not before the arrival of guests, when you need to calculate the amount of alcohol for everyone, but regularly, this is a sign that alcohol takes up too much space in your life.
You come up with rituals
A glass of champagne for an appetite, an after-work cocktail to relax, a wine to help you tune in before your favorite movie – these rituals easily increase the amount of alcohol to too high. In addition, they can be a sign of an attempt to rationalize and justify its use. Problems with alcohol often begin with the habit of “drinking” stress – and there is enough stress in our life.
You are in all the photos with a glass
Last year, more than a hundred thousand people subscribed to the instagram of a young French woman, who posted photos of meetings with friends, walking around the city and relaxing on the beach. A few months later, it turned out that this account, quite ordinary in appearance, was a campaign against excessive drinking, and each photo featured a glass of rose wine, a cocktail or a bottle of beer. According to representatives of the AddictAid organization , which launched the campaign, sometimes alcohol abuse is difficult to recognize even in those closest to you – and the frequent appearance of alcohol on their Internet accounts can be a clue.
You hardly drink water
Sometimes it can be difficult to choose wine over water – especially when you need to choose one of the drinks included in the fixed menu. But avoiding water on a regular basis can contribute to dehydration, especially when combined with alcohol – and alternating between wine and water can help you drink less alcohol and stretch your glass longer. Scientists have identified a genetic mutation in mice that made them choose wine instead of water – but in humans, no such changes have been found, and everyone can make an intelligent choice.