Drinking is considered the most socially acceptable drug available. Drinking isn’t considered a major problem until you can no longer live without it. But alcohol abuse is just another word for alcoholism; you can abuse alcohol without becoming an alcoholic. However, drinking, even casually, can result in serious health problems, issues at work and at home.
Here are four groups that experts relate to alcohol abuse and consumption. Look them over, and try to determine in which category you sit.
Social drinking is defined by consuming two or less drinks a day. This is where most people sit: a drink or two at dinner, a bottle of beer or two during the big game; or a martini to calm down after work. There are no problems associated with moderate drinking; you know your limits and when you reach them. You are sociable and have no problems having a good time while remaining responsible. Good for you!
Heavy drinking is if you regularly go above the “social drinker” limit; that is to say, if you regularly have four to five drinks a day. This can result in some serious health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, and pancreas damage. Heavy drinkers will usually have troubles at work and with their relationships, so if you find yourself not performing well at work or if you’re having more problems at home than normal, you may want to consider cutting down.
Problem drinking means you drink six to ten alcoholic units per day without considering the effects on work or on your relationships. Although withdrawal symptoms are not felt quite yet, you are dancing with disaster if you consume this amount of booze. If you find yourself skipping work early to have a few pints with the fellas, you should consider lowering your drinking levels.
Dependence on Alcohol
At this level, where alcoholism takes on its full force, you need alcohol to function. Your work has probably taken a drastic turn for the worse, and when you were once the life of the party when you were out with your friends, you now find yourself alone in your own filth. Your friends find you pathetic as you try to clean puke out of your clothes, and your mother-in-law won’t talk to you again after your last phone call filled with cusses and insults. At this level, you will likely lose your job and your friends all at once. Seek help immediately.
Most alcoholics will never admit to it; some even make up new and original titles for their situation, such as “high functioning alcoholic”. They believe that alcohol has only positive effects on their social and work lives as opposed to being a detriment. The truth is, there is no such thing as a “high functioning alcoholic”; just an alcoholic in denial.
Look at your alcohol consumption objectively and honestly. Find where you sit; if you are in the first category, congratulations! If not, keep a tight eye on your boozing before it gets out of hand.