Many people enjoy alcohol socially without realizing that drinking has the potential to cause life-changing issues. For example, people with a successful career and a happy family life may not expect to receive a DUI charge after an office happy hour.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to see the signs of problematic drinking habits. Here are three warning signs to consider:
Quantity and frequency
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines heavy drinking as binge drinking on five or more days in the previous month. A binge drinking session according to SAMHSA is more than four drinks in a few hours for women and more than five drinks in a few hours for men. The agency says that individuals who engage in either heavy or binge drinking are more likely to have alcohol use disorder.
Personal and professional impact
If you have experienced issues at work or school because of your drinking, such as increased absenteeism or impacted grades, you may want to consider seeking treatment. Drinking too much can also impact marriage and relationships with other family members, friends and colleagues. If you become intoxicated or hungover, you may not be present at important life events, even when you physically show up.
Loss of control
Alcohol use disorder causes the inability to quit drinking even when the person tries to stop. You may experience intense cravings along with symptoms of psychological and physical withdrawal. Many people who struggle with alcohol get drunk even when they do not intend to do so. You may also feel unable to control your behavior once you begin drinking.
Individuals who are facing charges of driving under the influence may qualify for substance abuse counseling. If you or a loved one faces legal problems associated with drinking, it is in your favor to seek medical evaluation for addiction and complete a treatment program.