April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a month that we can bring to attention that we still have a massive drinking problem in America. Six times a day, somebody dies from alcohol poisoning. Studies also tell us that there are 15 million alcoholics in America and less than 10% of them seek out treatment. While we are facing a heroin epidemic in this country without a doubt, we still need to bring awareness to those who may have a drinking problem. Here are some signs you or someone you know may have a problem with alcohol.
Failure To Set A Limit And Stick To It
It is fairly common for someone to tell themselves how much they are going to allow themselves to drink when they see a night coming up that involves drinking. Whether it’s a few glasses of wine or a few beers or even if you want to go a little bigger and do some shots. There is a number you tell yourself and count while you are drinking. Many people do this responsibly! They are on their third beer, they told themselves no more than three beers earlier in the night before they started and they stick to it. Look at your own experience with this. People with drinking problems constantly set limits for themselves and then when the time comes, along comes an excuse to drink more. Favorite words of those with a drinking problem are, “next time”. For a lot of people, next time never comes and a lot of their own promises are broken.
Plans Revolve Around Drinking
A benefit to drinking is that it is a social lubricant. In social situations, you find yourself nervous sober, throw a few drinks on top of it, and all of a sudden you are Superman! This can result in making all of your plans center around being able to drink. Whether it is at a bar, a restaurant, or going to a friend’s house, you may see that you always ask those you make plans with if they want to drink! If they refuse it could make you very upset. Thus equating alcohol to fun when it really is just something you are getting dependent on.
Drinking When Stressed
Life can be stressful, it’s a natural reaction when you are stressed to seek something out that will calm you down. Nobody wants to be stressed and when it hits a high level it can seem inescapable. Some people meditate, exercise, and cook a nice meal for themselves if they want to wind down. Drinking is another option but a rather dangerous one. Sure it does the job almost instantly but this is something that can really bring you down the road to full-blown alcoholism. Drinking to deal with anxiety and problems is very dangerous and a terrible coping mechanism. It’s terrible because the relief is only temporary, once the alcohol wears off the problem is still there. That can cause someone to drink even more.
If you can relate to any of these issues, please reflect on your recent past and see if you may need something like a treatment center. If you know someone who has these signs, I’m sure many of us do. Approach them and show them your concern. As I said at the beginning of this article, less than 10% of alcoholics seek out treatment. Something needs to be done about that.
Daniel Wittler is a writer in recovery from South Florida. He advocates for ways to recover from drug/alcohol addiction and likes to share his story to show that absolutely anyone can get sober.
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