Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

It isn’t always easy to know when your intake of alcohol has gone from social or moderate drinking to an addiction. However, if you drink to deal with difficulties or to keep yourself from feeling bad, you are treading on dangerous ground. Drinking addictions can sort of sneak up on you, so it is critical to know what the warning signs are and how to take measures to cut back when you notice them.

Is There a Problem?

Drinking is something that is common in most cultures and the effects can vary widely from one person to the next. This means that it isn’t always an easy thing to determine the location of the line between drinking socially and a drinking problem. If you live in Denver, for example, and need rehab Colorado residents have access to several good rehab centers. There are also facilities all over the US for those who live in other places. You might want to check into one if you:

  • Feel ashamed or guilty about drinking
  • Need to have a drink in order to feel better or relax
  • Regularly drink a bit more than you might need to
  • Lie about your drinking and hide your habits
  • Forget what you did or blackout while drinking

The thing to remember is that the bottom line lies with how you are affected by the alcohol. If drinking is creating issues in your life, you need to see someone about your problem.

The Difference Between Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Experts in substance abuse make a distinction between alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Alcohol abusers still retain a bit of the ability to limit their drinking. Alcoholics do not. That being said, even though the abusers can limit the amounts they imbibe, their use of it is still destructive and can be dangerous both to themselves and to those around them.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home repeatedly due to drinking. Just as an example, neglecting your family, failing classes, performing poorly while you are at work, or even skipping commitments due to being drunk or hungover.

Drinking in situations where it isn’t safe, like drinking while driving or driving after you have been drinking, operating heavy machinery while being intoxicated, or even mixing your prescription medications with alcohol.

Dealing with repeated legal issues because of drinking. As an example, being arrested for things like being drunk and disorderly, or driving under the influence.

Refusing to quit drinking even when it causes issues with your relationships. Going out and getting drunk with your friends, even though you know that your partner will not be happy with it or getting into fights with your family because they don’t approve of your actions when you are drinking are just two examples of this.

Drinking as a way to relieve stress or to relax. Many drinking problems begin when people drink to relieve stress or self-soothe. Getting drunk after each day that is stressful, for example, or reaching for a beer after you argue with your boss or partner.

Many effective treatment options are available for those with drinking problems, including rehab. That said, these aren’t the only way to deal with the issue and get better. There are many things that you can do yourself in order to regain control of your life.