Alcohol consumption is a strange, socially acceptable indulgence that impacts everyone differently. Some people can go through their life having a drink every now and then with minimal regrets. For other people, alcohol consumption can be ruinous.
So how do you know when your health and wellness are at risk? Here are the signs that alcohol consumption is negatively affecting your life.
Alcohol Consumption is Impacting Your Job
The fear of missing out (colloquially known as “FOMO”) is something that we all struggle with at times. Many people have given in to temptation and overindulged on a work night, only to pay the price the next day. However, if this is a common occurrence or puts your livelihood at risk, it’s time to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol.
Your alcohol consumption shouldn’t impact the quality of your work. The same applies to your education. Partying in college can be fun. Partying to the extent that your grades are at risk is not.
Alcohol Consumption is Impacting Your Relationships
If your alcohol consumption is impacting your relationships — romantic or otherwise — it’s time to take a step back. If you and your partner get drunk and regularly end up in toxic battles, there’s a problem. In this case, it’s worth having a conversation and looking into individual support or one of Couples Rehabs “Branded” programs.
Alcohol consumption could also be impacting your relationships with family or friends. If you spend every weekend hungover on the couch and lack the ability to interact with your children, that should serve as a warning that your consumption is a problem. If you’re missing important events or people don’t want to invite you because of your behavior when you drink, that’s another red flag.
You Use Alcohol to Cope
Having a drink at the end of a difficult day is a normal way to unwind and relax—no one is saying you should cut out your nightcap. However, it’s important to reevaluate your reliance on alcohol for stress relief. If your first thought is that you need a drink every time a stressful situation arises, it’s time to look at other coping mechanisms.
You’re Engaging in Illegal Activities
If drinking leads to activities that could get you in trouble with the law, it’s time to reach out for help. Drinking and driving, bar fights, public intoxication charges, trespassing, and other risky behaviors are all huge red flags.
If there’s any chance you could fail a breathalyzer, don’t get behind the wheel of a car. Not only are you risking your own health and well-being, but you’re also risking the lives of others who have done nothing wrong. If your consumption has become more important than risking someone’s life, it’s time to reevaluate your behavior.
You Lie About Your Consumption
If you feel compelled to lie about your consumption, that’s a problem. You may be of the opinion that it’s someone else’s issue, but that’s a lie you’re telling yourself. If someone is concerned about how much you drink, whether it’s a doctor or a spouse, it’s worth hearing what they have to say. Think of it this way: if there was nothing wrong, then why would you lie about it?
It’s important to know that moderate drinking is defined as consuming up to seven and 14 drinks per week for women and men, respectively. Yes, you may surpass this number on special occasions, but you should be concerned if it’s a regular occurrence.
You Can’t Self-Regulate
Finally, the biggest sign that you need to rethink your relationship with alcohol is an inability to self-regulate. If you can’t say no to alcohol or can’t get by without it, there’s a deeper issue at play. If you notice that your consumption is worrisome but can’t manage it on your own, reach out for help from a trusted friend. Don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance to help you navigate this journey.