Drinking every day is a habit that you could be in before you know it. Getting home from a long day of work, and relaxing with a cocktail or glass of wine is normalized in our society. If this is something you’re doing, you may be wondering if it’s a sign of alcoholism or an alcohol use disorder.
The answer is maybe, but not necessarily. Since everyone is different, their tolerance and habit-forming tendencies are different, as well. If you are curious about whether you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder, there are a few things to know when trying to decide.
What is an Alcoholic?
Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD) is defined as a chronic disease that is developed when someone can not control their drinking, regardless of the negative consequences on their life.
Risk Factors for Alcoholism
There are many risk factors that would increase the chances of developing AUD. The most prevalent risk factors are genetics, upbringing, social environment, and emotional health.
However, that’s not to say that if you don’t have any risk factors, you won’t become addicted. Alcohol is a physically addictive substance, so it is possible your body could become dependent on the alcohol itself, especially if you drink alcohol every day.
Defining a Drink
So, what exactly is 1 drink? Believe it or not, there are exact measurements that define what an alcoholic drink is. Each type of alcohol has a different alcohol content, so the ounces in “1 drink” vary greatly.
- Wine– 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
- Beer– 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
- Liquor/Distilled Spirits– 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is around 40% alcohol
Does Drinking Everyday Make You an Alcoholic?
Having a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail every evening doesn’t make you an alcoholic. However, it could increase the risk of developing alcohol-related health problems. If you are drinking more than 1 drink a day, your risk of developing a dependence on alcohol rises dramatically. Also, there are emotional and physical consequences of continued alcohol consumption.
Alcohol is a depressant that affects your brain chemicals. If you are drinking for a continued period of time, you may develop depression or anxiety disorders. Some people think drinking would be a great way to lift their spirits or calm their nerves. In reality, it makes the feeling worse after the alcohol’s effects wear off. It can become a vicious circle. Drink because you’re depressed, and depressed because you drink. Alcohol abuse can quickly and stealthily make someone form bad habits.
Alcohol also affects our physical bodies. Because our livers are the body’s filter, it filters out all of the toxins from the alcohol. Over time, this damages the liver. If the drinking continues, ulcers, stomach issues, liver disease, or even cancers could develop. The truth is, the longer and more often you drink, the more severe the physical consequences can be.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
There are so many different symptoms and signs of alcohol abuse and alcoholism because each person is unique. However, the most common symptoms and signs of alcohol dependence or abuse are:
- Obsessive thinking about alcohol, and when you can drink next
- Drinking consistently, even in situations when it isn’t permitted
- Alcohol tolerance gets higher, making it harder to feel its effects
- Can not stop drinking, even if you want to
- Physically dependent, needing alcohol to feel normal
- Developing depression
- Isolating from loved ones
- Making excuses to miss work, or other required activities
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it might be an indicator that you have a problem with alcohol. Evaluate yourself honestly. You may realize you could benefit from talking to an admissions counselor at Agape Treatment Center. They are trained in answering any questions you may have.
How to Get Help
Admitting you may have an issue is the very first step to getting help. Once you admit to yourself that you are uncomfortable with your drinking, you can reach out to a loved one for support. Having someone to be your accountability partner is important for the next part of your journey to becoming healthier.
Calling Agape Treatment Center may sound like a scary step. But, it doesn’t need to be. They have many different programs to treat alcohol use disorders, as well as substance abuse, and mental health disorders. So, no matter what you are dealing with, they can help.