alcohol addiction
Reading time: 2 min

In a culture where social gatherings often revolve around drinks, it can be challenging to gauge how much alcohol is too much. However, understanding the fine line between casual drinking and problematic alcohol use is essential for maintaining your health and well-being. You should know what qualifies as heavy drinking, the warning signs of alcohol addiction and how to recognize when you need help.

What Constitutes Heavy Drinking?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines heavy drinking as eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more for men. For this definition, one drink counts as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, each containing about the same amount of alcohol.

If you have yet to experience any adverse effects from drinking, you might feel that you can continue your habit. However, worsening physical and mental health problems will eventually catch up with you, which is why you should take steps to quit.

Warning Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Addiction involves a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol. Here are the warning signs that may indicate a substance use disorder.

  • Cravings: Feeling a strong, often irresistible urge to drink.
  • Loss of control: Drinking more or longer than intended on more than one occasion.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: Experiencing difficulties such as nausea, sweating, shaking and anxiety when not drinking.
  • Tolerance: Needing to drink more over time to achieve the same effects.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Failing to fulfill work, school or home duties because of drinking.
  • Continued use despite problems: Continuing to drink even when it causes difficulties with your health, relationships or the law.

Recognizing When You Have a Drinking Problem

Admitting that your relationship with alcohol has crossed the line between casual and harmful can be challenging due to denial and the social acceptability of drinking. Use these questions to help you self-assess.

  • Have you repeatedly failed to cut down or stop drinking?
  • Do you often drink more than you initially intended?
  • Have you continued drinking despite it causing conflict with your family or friends?
  • Do you rely on alcohol to relieve stress, forget worries, fall asleep or boost your mood?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions might indicate a problem with alcohol.

Finding Help at Hope by the Sea

Hope by the Sea is a premier California-based treatment center offering a sanctuary for people who want to break the vicious cycle of alcohol addiction. Our comprehensive approach includes the following benefits.

  • Personalized treatment plans: We can tailor care plans to meet the unique needs of clients like military veterans and people living with a dual diagnosis.
  • Detoxification: Medically supervised detox will help you manage withdrawal symptoms safely, stabilizing you for the next stages of rehab.
  • Therapy and counseling: Individual, group and family therapy sessions allow you to pinpoint and address the underlying causes of addiction.
  • Supportive community: Our nurturing environment fosters healing, growth and long-term sobriety.

At Hope by the Sea, we understand the courage it takes to confront and overcome alcohol addiction. Our dedicated team is here to work with you as you reclaim your life and health. Contact us today to request help.