When Does Alcohol Use Become Alcohol Abuse?

Like many people, you may enjoy a few drinks after a hard day’s work, at a work function, or just enjoy a night on the town with friends. In your mind, you are unwinding and just “blowing off steam”. While having a drink or two is completely normal and understandable, it can be easy to cross the line into more problematic drinking. Over time, you may become dependent on alcohol or even start abusing alcohol. The problem lies in knowing where the line between responsible and problem drinking lies and knowing when too much is simply too much.

So when does alcohol use become alcohol abuse? In this article, you will learn the definition of alcohol abuse and the key differences between responsible drinking and problem drinking. You will learn what constitutes alcohol abuse and the signs that you may be drinking to excess. Do you feel that your drinking is spiraling out of control? If so, today is the day you seek the professional help found at the Parkdale Center. Our IOP drug rehab in Indiana is designed to help the business professional and features evidence-based treatment programs that help you address and overcome substance abuse for good. Call us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs in Indiana.

How Do We Define Alcohol Abuse?

To answer the question of when does alcohol use becomes alcohol abuse, you first need to understand the differences between responsible drinking and problem drinking. When you hear the term responsible drinking, you immediately think about limiting yourself to a certain number of drinks. In reality, responsible drinking is avoiding getting drunk and not letting alcohol control your daily life and relationships with others. When you drink responsibly, you don’t need to drink every day, never drink and drive, and will use a designated driver or taxi in the event you drink too much.

On the other hand, alcohol abuse is defined as a drinking pattern where you drink too much alcohol and do so frequently. When you are abusing alcohol, you may be drinking too much in one sitting or drinking increasing amounts during the week. The CDC defines excessive alcohol use as the following:

  • Consuming 4 or more drinks on an occasion for a woman or 5 or more drinks on an occasion for a man.
  • 8 or more drinks per week for a woman or 15 or more drinks per week for a man.

Additionally, alcohol abuse impacts your daily life and interferes with work, family, and school obligations. When you are abusing alcohol, your day revolves around where you are going to get alcohol where you will drink, and with what people consider your “drinking buddies”. Alcohol abuse not only impacts your relationships with others, it also impacts your physical and mental health.

When Does Alcohol Use Become Alcohol Abuse: Signs and Symptoms

When does alcohol use transition into alcohol abuse? Is there a magical line that is crossed? Like other addictions, the buildup to abuse is gradual and sometimes the signs and symptoms go unnoticed. However, there are telltale signs that your drinking has become excessive. Mayo Clinic outlines the common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:

  • Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Having strong cravings and urges to drink alcohol
  • Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home due to repeated alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink alcohol even though you know it’s causing physical, social, work, or relationship problems
  • Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies to use alcohol
  • Developing tolerance to alcohol and needing to drink increasing amounts to achieve the desired effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink or cut down on your drinking

If you notice these symptoms, you must find professional help.

Overcome Alcohol Abuse With Help from Parkdale Center

Alcohol abuse and addiction is a serious matter that requires immediate attention. While finding treatment is a top priority, the rehab you choose must have the programs, services, and support you need to find lasting sobriety. Parkdale Center is one of Indiana’s premier drug rehab centers. Our evidence-based programs and services are specifically designed for business professionals.

Break free from alcohol abuse for good and call Parkdale Center today.

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