Signs You Have a Drinking Problem, Experts Say – Eat This, Not That


Alcoholism is a common problem that can affect anyone. the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that a 2019 study found that “14.5 million (almost 15 million) people aged 12 and over (5.3% of this age group) suffered from alcohol-related disorders.” That number includes 9.0 million men (6.8% of men in this age group) and 5.5 million women (3.9% of women in this age group). ”So when does a few drinks turn into something more? National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “consuming more than 3 drinks per day or more than 14 drinks per week” for men and more than 3 drinks per day or more than 7 drinks per week for women “. Eat this, not that! Health spoke to experts who explained the signs that you might have a drinking problem and how to help someone with alcoholism. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have Ever Had COVID.


Graduate therapist and addiction expert Michael Damioli with Clinical Director, Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery says, “One of the easiest ways to conceptualize problematic alcohol use is to use the concept of concern, which is the concept that alcohol is becoming an increasingly important part of the thought process. one person. That someone thinks about alcohol throughout the day is one of the first thoughts they have in the morning and when they go to bed. Even if they don’t drink throughout the day, thinking about alcohol, making plans for drinking, and making justifications or excuses for drinking becomes a big part of a person’s life. When the concern becomes serious enough, it can become someone’s primary thought. They can live the perfect life, be home having dinner with their amazing family and yet the main thought they have is something like “I can’t wait for this dinner to end so I can start drinking. “

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man pouring a glass of wine

Damioli explains: “The other concept is constraint. Once someone starts drinking, they have a hard time stopping or moderating. Maybe someone goes out and plans to have 2 drinks with friends at a restaurant or bar, but once they start drinking the ability to make good decisions about their drinking and drinking too much. If this is a regular pattern for someone they may have or develop a drinking problem. Over time, the compulsion to drink can cause someone to develop a tolerance for alcohol which will cause them to drink larger amounts over time to achieve the same level of intoxication while drinking. “

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man sitting on the bed with a glass of alcohol - how does alcohol affect the brain

“The DSM-5 is the diagnostic book for all psychiatric conditions that also describes several criteria for alcohol use disorders,” says Damioli. “There is one criterion that I always find to be a determining factor in determining whether someone has a problem with alcohol, and that is, to paraphrase, that someone continues to drink alcohol despite the negative consequences. An example would be someone who experiences a DUI, breakup, loss of a job, etc. due to their drinking, but continues to drink alcohol anyway. This is clearly starting to show that their drinking has become a problem. ”

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alcoholic beverages

According to Lisa Curtis, a licensed clinical social worker and a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor, “larger amounts of alcohol than expected are consumed, which often occurs slowly over time. This is often an internal warning sign that only the person is going to know about, but this is what it looks like to them: “I’m going to have 3 beers with the guys, then come home because I have work to do.” tomorrow. In reality, these 3 beers turn into a long evening, a lot more alcohol consumed and a departure to work with a hangover. It also looks like a lack of the ability to accurately assess where and when the use will stop. “

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drink white wine
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“Alcohol-focused events are starting to take center stage for socializing rather than spending time with friends or family. becomes reason “, Curtis States. “Going to a wine tasting or the occasional Oktoberfest isn’t out of the ordinary, but when most events get alcohol-themed a line started to be crossed. also applies to ensure there is alcohol at an event or gathering by bringing it yourself or knowing in advance if it will be there.

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drinking alcohol

Curtis explains, “Using alcohol to ‘ease’ a feeling or to amplify a feeling, like having a drink before going out on a first date or feeling like there is no way to celebrate a. birthday without getting drunk / heavily intoxicated. Using alcohol to change your feelings is a red flag to heed; like most things, a little bit of alcohol is a problem for you, but consuming too much or too frequently is reckless and problematic. ”

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“A person is more at risk of having an alcohol or substance problem if they: have a history of trauma, a genetic history of addiction, started using in their pre-teens or early years growing up in a household where drinking was problematic, “Curtis says.” The time to seek help and treatment is when you begin to wonder if your drinking is a problem. or if this is starting to cause problems in your life. Some of the first signs of a problem are very personal and internal, often sounding like a question that begins with “I know I should but …” “

Damioli adds: “It is almost impossible to predict who will develop a drinking problem, but there are many potential predictive characteristics. Having a family history of alcoholism certainly puts someone at a much higher risk of developing a drinking problem. The genetic and biological component of alcoholism is important and should not be underestimated. Some other risk factors include the age at which someone starts drinking, the amount of alcohol needed to get drunk (more alcohol needed = more risk of addiction), and the existence of other mental disorders. health problems or traumatic experiences.

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Worried mother talking to her daughter on a sofa

Curtis says, “If someone you love and care about is struggling and you are looking to help them, one of the best things to do is allow them to feel the natural consequences of their use of. alcohol or drinking; not cleaning up its mess or making excuses for it. Another important step is to remember that loving someone doesn’t mean you can’t tell them their actions are hurting you. If the person you love is a teenager, showing them how much you love them also means being prepared to be angry with you first for asking them to take care of themselves, with your help. . If you or someone you care about needs support, keep in mind that there is help, but it often takes a lot of starts and stops to find what works best; like any treatment, there is no one size fits all. And to get through this pandemic in better health, don’t miss these 35 places where you’re most likely to catch COVID.


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