We are enthusiasts of drinking good red wine, but we do understand that any alcohol addiction itself is harmful. So what’s the difference between responsible drinking and heavy drinking? Well, you can skip reading this, and just test yourself here. Anyway, let’s observe how to get when your drinking is not moderate or social anymore.
- in the United States 17.6 million people suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence;
- more than 7 million children there have at least one parent addicted to alcohol;
- 88,000 deaths are attributed to excessive alcohol use annually;
- long-term alcohol use impacts relationship, career, finances and emotional stability;
- excessive alcohol use can lead to numerous serious diseases, such as:
- psychiatric problems (e.g. depression);
- cardiovascular problems;
- increased risk of some kinds of cancers;
- liver diseases;
- gastrointestinal diseases.
Is there such a thing as responsible drinking?
According to the recent studies, moderate drinking even has some benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, heart attack or strokes, as well as lower risk of diabetes and gallstones.
Responsible drinking, or drinking in moderation, is more than just limiting a number of drinks. In fact it means not getting really drunk at all.
Healthy men, up to age 65, should limit themselves to no more than 4 drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks a week. Women can afford even less: no more than 3 drinks a day and up to 7 drinks a week.
Should we mind that you must be a grown up to drink, you shouldn’t drink while driving and when being pregnant, and shouldn’t drink alcohol with some drugs? And never ever drink on an empty stomach.
Alcohol addiction signs
Here are some common warning signs of upcoming alcohol abuse:
- most time you cannot relax without alcohol;
- regularly you drink more than you were supposed to;
- you feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking;
- therefore you lie to others about it;
- your friends and family are worried about your drinking;
- sometimes you forget what you did while you were drinking.
The first and the major warning sign of alcoholism is tolerance. It means now you have to drink a lot more than you used to in order to feel relaxed.
The second is withdrawal. The main symptoms of withdrawal are headaches, shakiness or trembling, sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Do you have to drink to relieve or avoid them?
Among other signs is denial. Yep, we mean all those cases when you told you can stop drinking any time you wish, or that you are not an alcoholic, because you drink only beer.
Alcohol addiction treatments
Even if it has gone too far, addiction can be managed successfully by modern treatments. Most common methods are behavioral treatments and medications (always ask your doctor for a prescription). And don’t forget all those 12-step programs, like legendary Alcoholics Anonymous. They help.