Whether it's the holidays or summertime, people like to celebrate and have a good time. With summer just around the corner, people get together for barbecues, parties, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day.
Add to it the kids being out of school with longer days, vacation time getting used, and summertime is packed with opportunities to have a good time.
And get-togethers and good times almost always center around drinking. And we all know the person that goes a little too far during a party, stumbling around making a fool of themself, but what about you?
Are You Just Being Social Or Have You Developed a Dependency?
Are you just being a social drinker, or have you started developing a dependency?
Alcohol dependency, like most substance use disorders, can be tricky and sneak up on you.
The Differences Between Moderate Drinking, Binge Drinking, And Excessive Drinking
An occasional drink such as a glass of wine once a week falls under moderate drinking. But moderate drinking can extend to as much as seven drinks a week for women, not exceeding one per day.
For men, it’s considered moderate drinking if an adult male drinks less than two drinks per day or less than fourteen per week.
Excessive drinking is classified as drinking more than 4 drinks on a single occasion or more than 7 drinks in a week for women or more than 14 drinks for men during a single week.
Binge drinking is defined as drinking more than 5 drinks on one occasion or drinking to intoxication. It is usually associated with younger people aged 18-34, and in social situations such as a night out or party.
Health Concerns From Excessive Binge Drinking
Binge drinking and excessive drinking can lead to long-term, severe health issues, including an increased risk of developing substance use disorder.
Substance use disorder is a mental condition that affects the brain and behavior of the individual, limiting self-control over the use of the substance.
Drinking in excess can cause a multitude of health issues over time;
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Increased risk of stroke
- Digestive problems
- Neurological problems
- Liver damage
- Dependency - psychological and physiological
The problem with excessive drinking is that by the time dependency and substance use disorder are apparent, other more severe health issues may have already begun.
The Warning Signs Of Dependency And Addiction
Dependency and addiction are two heads of the same health concern. Knowing the tell-tell signs is essential to accept that an individual may have an issue and that seeking help is best for them.
Of course, alcohol rehabilitation such as those found in Boston, will need to be agreed upon by the individual, except in extreme cases where involuntary rehabilitation, such as with a minor or somebody that is a threat to themselves or a public health issue.
The warning signs of developing addiction and dependency may mirror each other. With addiction, the individual lacks control over substance use, while with dependency, the person’s brain and body require the substance to maintain a sense of health.
The warning signs will appear as behavioral changes first. They may include;
- Changes in daily routines, behavior, and personality
- Sleep disorders
- Anxiety, OCD, or other mental disorders
- Bloodshot eyes, frequent bloody noses (not common to alcohol)
- Lack of personal hygiene or concern about appearance
- Unusual financial difficulties
- Slurred speech, shakes, or tremors
These symptoms take time to appear. The way that addiction and dependency creep up makes it hard to see the long-term damage being done.
But looking for the tell-tale signs will help you identify if you’re close to having dependency or addiction issues, and, if so, you may want to think about getting treatment.
It’s Your Choice To Seek Treatment
Deciding for treatment is almost always voluntary on the part of the patient. However, if you are curious if treatment is something to consider, then ask yourself this; are you as happy and healthy as possible?
If the answer is no, and you experience any of those symptoms, or loved ones are constantly asking you what’s wrong or that “you’ve changed,” chances are you may be developing a dependency issue.
In that case, seeking professional treatment is the best solution for you. However, quitting “cold turkey” isn’t a long-term solution as there may be other underlying triggers to why you developed dependency in the first place.
Even if you believe you don’t have an addiction, seeking treatment can help you lead a happier, healthier life.
Destigmatizing addiction therapy and treatment has come a long way. However, if you are looking for options, you can search for treatment centers nearby, such as this Los Angeles addiction treatment center or a similar one wherever you live.