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5 Subtle Signs Your Casual Drinking May Be a Problem

Everybody enjoys a drink from time to time – a cold beer on a summer afternoon, a glass of wine with dinner, or a cocktail at a party. But when does casual drinking become a problem?

In the US alone, 14.1 million adults had alcohol use disorder in 2019. The fact is, alcohol can easily go from being a pleasurable part of an evening to an issue affecting your daily life. Here are five subtle signs your drinking may be a problem.

1. Your Tolerance to Alcohol Increases

If you need more drinks to feel the effects, your body may be developing an alcohol tolerance. It means your body has become accustomed to a certain amount of alcohol and needs more to achieve the same effects. While this might seem like an impressive party trick, it’s actually a red flag.

2. You Drink to De-Stress

Everyone has rough days, and sometimes a drink can help to take the edge off. But if you find yourself regularly reaching for alcohol to deal with stress, you may be relying too heavily on it. Consider exploring alternative ways to unwind. A variety of non-alcoholic drinks can help you relax, as listed in this comprehensive guide.


3. Your Social Life Revolves Around Alcohol

Do you tend to socialize only in situations where alcohol is present? If your social activities always involve drinking, it might be worth reconsidering how you spend your time. Hobbies, sports, or other non-alcohol related activities can be just as fun and fulfilling.

103,300+ Pouring Alcohol Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock | Man pouring alcohol, Woman pouring alcohol, Pouring alcohol home

4. You’ve Tried to Cut Down But Can’t

If you’ve noticed any of these signs and tried to cut back on your drinking but found it challenging, you might have a problem. Many people try to control their drinking habits but struggle to do so. This struggle can be a subtle sign of an alcohol use disorder.

5. You’re Neglecting Other Areas of Your Life

If your drinking is causing you to neglect work, relationships, or hobbies, it’s time to reconsider your habits. When drinking becomes the main focus of your life, other areas inevitably suffer.

The above signs can be subtle and easy to brush off, but they can indicate a deeper issue. If you recognize some of these signs in your life, it’s crucial to take steps towards changing your relationship with alcohol. One tool you may find beneficial is the 7 Days To Drink Less program. It’s an approach that focuses on changing your mentality around drinking, rather than imposing strict, unmanageable diets or quitting entirely.

Alcohol use is a slippery slope, but recognizing these subtle signs can be the first step towards maintaining healthier drinking habits. Remember, it’s all about balance and mindfulness. And, if you’re concerned about weight gain from drinking, these seven summer smoothie recipes are not just delicious but also assist in weight loss.

Take care of yourself and drink responsibly.

27,900+ Alcoholism Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art -  iStock | Alcohol, Drunk, Substance abuse

The Physical and Emotional Toll

Even if you’re not experiencing extreme symptoms like blackouts or withdrawal, casual drinking can still take a toll on your physical and emotional health. You may notice that you’re more irritable or anxious than usual, or that you’re not sleeping as well. These subtle changes can be hard to attribute to alcohol, especially when drinking is seen as a normal part of social life. But alcohol is a depressant and can cause or worsen these issues over time.

The Social Stigma

Addressing your relationship with alcohol can also be complicated by social stigma. You may worry that others will judge you or treat you differently if they know you’re trying to cut back on drinking. It’s important to remember that taking steps to improve your health and wellbeing is something to be proud of, not something to hide. In fact, many people find that their relationships improve when they start drinking less.

Alcohol-Free Alternatives

How A Short Meditation Can Help People Drink Less | Time

Finding alternatives to alcohol can make the process easier. For some people, this could be non-alcoholic drinks that feel like a treat, such as herbal teas or infused waters. Others might find that exercise, meditation, or a new hobby can help them relax and unwind without the need for alcohol. Whatever approach you choose, remember that it’s about finding what works for you.