Social drinkers often think that they have their drinking under control. Usually, they have no problem getting up and going to work the next day. They don’t drink all day, every day. And, they don’t feel like they need alcohol to function. Instead, they just prefer to have some drinks when they’re out with friends, maybe to lighten the mood and relieve some social anxiety.
But, social drinking doesn’t always stay contained. It can sometimes affect other areas of your life, even turning to alcoholism when the body starts to crave it. Here’s what to look for, and what to do, if you think your social drinking could be leading to more.
What are the Signs of Drinking Turning to Alcoholism?
Alcohol addiction is a major problem that affects people of all ages. In fact, close to 4% of all deaths around the world are alcohol-related. You might start noticing some common symptoms of alcohol addiction, even if you don’t think you have a problem:
- You start to choose drinking over other activities
- You no longer find activities enjoyable if there’s no drinking involved
- You start to crave alcohol when you don’t have it
- You feel sick even when you aren’t drinking
- You feel that you need a drink to stop worrying, or even to fall asleep
- You start to lie to other people about your drinking habit
If any of the above apply to you, then your social drinking could very well be on the path toward alcoholism.
What to Do If You’re On the Path to Alcoholism
Recognizing the issue is the most important part of the process of getting help. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about; alcoholism can happen to anyone. By taking the following steps, you’re taking an active role in your own health, which is crucial to getting yourself the help you need.
Turn to Your Closest Loved Ones
If you believe you have an addiction to alcohol, you should first turn to the people in your life you’re closest to. This can be a parent, sibling, friend, or even your basketball coach. Think about who will listen to your problems without being judgmental and will remain there to support you and help you through this tough time in your life.
If you don’t feel that anyone close to you is someone you can rely on for the support you need, then consider turning to a therapist. A therapist can provide unbiased support and direction, and also act as a listening ear that can help you work through any underlying issues that may have triggered your drinking in the first place.
Change Your Habits and Circle
Next, it’s time to makeover your current habits, if possible. If going out with friends and not drinking seems like an impossible task at this point, you should avoid outings. It’s a good idea to surround yourself with friends and family who you trust and who won’t pressure you to drink. If that means ditching your regular social group, then that should be an important step in your recovery.
Sometimes, checking in with social media can be damaging to your sobriety because you’ll see photos of your circle in your usual hangout spots. Take a break from social media and tune back into your personal interests to keep your mind on your goal.
Seek Professional Help
Very few people can handle alcohol addiction on their own. Alcoholism is a day to day struggle, and can be so even after you’ve gone through treatment. It might benefit you to look into alcohol recovery centers that help you through your current struggles and set you on a healthy path toward recovery.
These treatment centers can also be there to support you after your treatment for things like individual and group therapy, medical treatment, and more. Visit addictiontosobriety.com to learn more about what an alcohol addiction treatment can provide for you and your family.