Alcohol is a part of life. For many of us, drinking wine or relaxing after work with a pint is a normal part of everyday life. However, when does relaxing or socialising with a drink become a problem? What’s the defining line?
For many, the edges are fairly blurred. It’s all too easy to wind down with a glass of wine over dinner. Followed by another one post dinner. Before you know it – you’ve finished the bottle. Open another bottle? Or call it quits? Most of us can have a glass of wine, a tumbler of whisky on the rocks, put down the empty glass and simply walk away without a second though.
But what happens when that’s not the case? Is it the defining moment on the rocky road down into the depths of alcohol dependency and all it brings with it? Who knows. There are many factors than can cause alcoholism. For some, it’s simply life’s pressures. Their job. Or trying to create a balance between home and work. Others find themselves edging towards developing alcohol problems due to life events: divorce, grieving over a loved one – being made redundant.
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Unfortunately, social drinking can become a lot less social when it becomes dependence or binge drinking.
Alochol is addictive.
In short, there are many reasons. However, when an individual does find that they are reliant upon alcohol, they will need a lot of support and understanding. Alcohol dependency is a medical disorder and cannot be treated by way of simply directing good advice at the person concerned.
Alcohol dependence is first and foremost an addiction, an overpowering urge to drink, despite the obvious and very real affects and implications. Each person that develops a problem with it needs specialist help and assistance. And being addicted to alcohol can have a lesser form – binge drinking. Again, in itself a tricky problem to alleviate. Many teenagers binge drink, as do countless young adults that are struggling to cope with peer/cultural pressures and/or the transition between childhood and adulthood.
That said, binge drinking is not solely for the young. There are mature adults that also binge drink and, as with alcohol dependence, drinking in short sharp bursts can also carry implications related to health and relationships. Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact that in todays’ modern society, social drinking is a very accepted part of most if not all western cultures.
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Not drinking is a great way to avoid becoming dependent on alcohol. But there’s no need to avoid it altogether. Moderation is the key.
Avoiding alcohol dependency.
So how does a person go about drawing the line? The truth is, for many it’s not a problem. Many of us go through life without ever experiencing a need to use or abuse alcohol. Who hasn’t drunk to excess on occasion? Not many of us. For the most part, we’ll get drunk, fall down and wake up the day after with a blinding headache and feeling rather worse for wear. But, for some, that alone is not enough to relay a warning message.
A part of avoiding alcohol misuse is to view alcohol for what it is: an addictable liquid drug, potent and freely available. Used sensibly, it won’t have nor will it cause an adverse affect. Make sure that you have other interests in your life other than social drinking. Don’t allow your social life to revolve around drinking or meeting in places where you can easily purchase drinks – bars, clubs and restaurant for example.
Look at your social group. Do they prefer the opportunity to drink to be included in social gatherings – or are they just as happy to meet for a night at the cinema, for a round of golf or some other sport? There are many social activities that don’t have to include alcohol as the central focus.
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Drinking in moderation can be pleasurable. It’s when it becomes a need/addiction that the pleasure is no longer involved.
Analyse Your drinking.
Further, if you already enjoy alcohol as a part of your social life, analyse why. Does it make you feel less inhibited? Do you believe that you’re happier and enjoy life better after a few drinks? Or do you drink to alleviate stress and pressure or because you’re suffering from depression? Thoroughly examining why you enjoy drinking may help you avoid some of the pitfalls and, ultimately, the horrible possibility of becoming addicted to alcohol.
The plain and simple fact is that the old saying ‘drink in moderation’ is a very good foundation on which to base your drinking habits. Having a drink now and then is not a bad thing. A glass or two of wine with dinner is fine. Celebrating an occasion and including alcohol is fine. There are many instances whereby we can drink in moderation. It’s when the line becomes blurred that you could go on to develop a problem and cause an alcohol concern.
Remember: drinking can be an agreeable part of life. But that’s all it ever should be: agreeable. Binge drinking and alcohol dependency are, unfortunately, anything but enjoyable.
Alcohol In Depth
Alcohol information abounds on the internet. How much is too much and what effects can alcohol have? This article contains some basic facts and information relating to alcohol – and the side effects of drink problems.
Alcohol Intervention. Family Intervention And Addiction Treatment.
Alcohol intervention is when an alcohol dependent individual is intervened, by family or friends, as a means of helping them confront their alcohol addiction. Co-ordinated by a professional interventionist, it can be their last chance.