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Having that third glass of wine at dinner is no big deal. Neither is frequenting your favorite bar every weekend.
Or is it?
When 15 million people struggle with alcohol use and 65 million admit to binge drinking in the past month, being a problem drinker is more common than you might think.
And it’s an issue that can sneak up on you before you realize it’s out of hand.
Let’s look at 5 signs you might be a problem drinker and what you can do to turn it around.
1. You Set Limits but Can’t Stick to Them
You told yourself you’re only going to have two drinks at dinner – tops. But before you know it, those two drinks turn into six. And the limit you placed on yourself goes right out the window.
To help it from getting out of hand, start writing down how much you drink and how often. This will give you an idea of how much you’re drinking and if it’s getting out of control.
2. Your Friends and Family Express Concern
If your loved ones have started to make comments about your drinking habits, or flat out told you it’s a problem, it may be time to start listening.
They will notice the issue long before you may begin to notice it yourself. Having an outside view is key to curbing a problem before it turns into a major one.
Have your loved ones keep you accountable. Let them know the limit you’ve set for yourself on nights out. And keep the lines of honest communication open.
Most of all, know they only have your best interest at heart. Listen to them when they express their concern.
3. You Start to Neglect Responsibilities
You missed yet another yoga class due to a hangover. You skip the housework so you can go out drinking. Daily chores and activities you enjoyed doing are being passed over because of alcohol.
If this sounds familiar, know your drinking is taking over your life. It’s time to recognize that a shift in your priorities needs to take place.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Counselors and treatments centers can help you take the steps needed to make this shift. You can read more here.
4. It Takes More to Get You Buzzed Than It Used to
If you’re finding you need to drink more to get a buzz than you once used to, that’s a sign your tolerance has increased. This means your brain has become accustomed to the amount you’re drinking.
While some think this is a good thing, it actually indicates there may be a problem. And it’s time to step back and check how much you’re drinking.
5. You Reach for a Drink When You’re Stressed
All of us need a way to deal with stress. But if you find that you reach for the bottle every time you need an outlet, it may be causing more harm than good.
Drinking to avoid the pressures of stress only compound your problems, which may lead to even more drinking.
Search for alternative ways of dealing with your stress. Healthier options such as exercise can be a benefit to both your body and mind.
Knowing the Signs of a Problem Drinker Can Help Curb the Issue
Once you’re able to recognize the signs of a problem drinker in yourself, you will be able to start to turn things around.
Do you smoke and drink? Click here to find out what it’s doing to your brain.