Alcohol addiction: Warning signs to look out for

Social drinkers are those individuals who drink in low-risk patterns. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), ‘low-risk’ drinking for females consists of no more than 7 drinks per week and no more than 3 drinks per sitting. For males, it consists of no more than 14 drinks per week and no more than 4 drinks per day

Alcohol addiction: Warning signs to look out for
Image Source: Google

Here are certain warning signs of problem drinking or alcoholism which needs treatment:

 Alcohol addiction: Warning signs to look out for
Dr Sagar Mundada
  • An inability to control alcohol intake after starting to drink
  • Obsessing about alcohol (i.e., when is next time the person can drink, how they are going to get alcohol, who they’re going to go out drinking with)
  • Behaving in ways, while drunk, that is totally uncharacteristic of their sober personality.
  • Repeating unwanted drinking patterns.
  • Surrounding themselves socially with heavy drinkers.
  • Getting drunk before actually arriving at parties/bars (pre-partying).
  • Increasing their sense of denial that heavy drinking is not a problem because they are able to succeed professionally and personally, and is does not hinder their life.
  • Setting drinking limits (i.e., only having 3 drinks, only drinking 3 days per week) and not being able to adhere to them.
  • Driving drunk and by sheer luck, not getting arrested or involved in an accident.
  • Always having to finish an alcoholic beverage or even another person’s unfinished beverage.
  • Using alcohol as a reward.
  • Drinking daily.
  • Living a double life by separating drinking life from professional or home life.
  • Binge drinking (more than 5 drinks in one sitting).
  • Having chronic blackouts (memory lapse due to excessive drinking) and not remembering what they did for a portion of their drinking episode.
  • Feeling guilt and shame about their drunken behaviours, once sober.
  • Taking breaks from drinking and then increasing alcohol consumption when they resume drinking after a period of time.

The author is a Mumbai based psychiatrist.