Knowing When Drinking Has Become Problematic


It’s often assumed that you have to be at crisis point, before you could benefit from reducing recreational drug or alcohol use. As far as many are concerned, you are at the point where you are in need of drug rehabilitation in South Africa, or you are technically fine. In reality, experts and evidence alike suggest that there are in fact millions of people who may be on the verge of problematic drinking, or certain heading down something of a slippery slope.

One of the biggest problems with alcohol consumption particular is that as it is legal, it is viewed as harmless. A normal, everyday product that most use instinctively and without a second thought. Nevertheless, it is critically important to be able to understand when and where drinking habits become problematic. The challenge being that what constitutes problematic drinking varies significantly in the opinions of one person to the next.

That said, there are certain common indicators that could suggest you are either facing a problem or that a problem could be manifesting. So should any of the following sound familiar, it may be advisable to speak to the professionals for advice and support, sooner rather than later:

1 – You’d Like to Cut Down, But Can’t

First of all, quitting alcohol consumption entirely can be difficult for anyone.  However, simply cutting down as a means by which to benefit your life in multiple ways shouldn’t be an enormous challenge. As such, if you genuinely cannot fathom where and how to get started in the first place, it could be that alcohol has become a dangerously important element in your everyday life.  In which case, it is definitely worth bringing the issue to the attention of the professionals, in order to gain access to advice and support.

2 – You’ve Tried to Cut Down, But Failed

It’s exactly the same story when it comes to attempts to cut down alcohol consumption – all of which have so far failed.  It’s hardly rare for an individual to have every intention of drinking moderately and sensibly, only to then get well and truly carried away on occasion. However, it’s something else entirely to genuinely attempt to cut down alcohol consumption on more than one occasion, only to find that all such efforts come to nothing. This clearly illustrates that the alcohol has taken control over you – you no longer have control of your alcohol consumption.

3 – Your Loved Ones Are Concerned

If those around you have expressed growing concern in your drinking habits, there is every chance it could be for a justified reason. In many instances, those with a genuine alcohol and drug problems end up being the very last people to realise anything is wrong. While it’s natural to write off the concerns and accusations of others, it’s also worth thinking carefully about the reasons for their concerns.

4 – You’re Lying About or Hiding Your Drinking

Should you at any point feel the need to either lie about your drinking habits or go to extreme lengths to hide them from all the people, this clearly illustrates that there is a problem. If there wasn’t, you would be perfectly confident and happy to continue out in the open, without fear of alarming or concerning those around you. When you begin hiding behaviours, this is a telltale sign that such behaviour is have become addictive and compulsive, rather than under control.  And the moment you lose control of your behaviours is the moment you fall into outright addiction.

5 – You Feel Guilt, Shame and Regret

Another characteristic sign of drug and alcohol addiction is continuation of the kinds of habits that bring you nothing but shame, regret and negative emotions in general. The simple fact of the matter is that if you are doing something that is bringing you nothing but misery yet you cannot stop doing it, this is the dictionary definition of an addiction. It may be difficult to come to terms with things, but you absolutely must seek professional support and guidance as early as possible.

6 – Other Aspects of Your Life Are Suffering

Last but not least, any kind of drug or alcohol use which begins having a detrimental effect on the other areas of your life could indicate a dangerous addiction. This is particularly true in instances where the individual in question fully understands and acknowledges the fact that their life is suffering, though does not seem to be willing or able to do anything about it. In such instances, it is highly probable that things will only continue to get worse, or until the required professional intervention is sought.