“It’s just one more.” “I only drink at home.” “I can make it home, I only live around the corner.”
What’s The Big Deal?
You may have heard something like this before. If you’re honest, you may even have said something like this. A single drink every once in a while; only on special occasions. That’s how it can start. And then, before you know it, that “once in a while” is a few times a week. Or perhaps every single day. Some people can actually have a single drink and not think anything else about it. But for the rest of us, that just isn’t the case.
How Much Is Too Much?
About 95,000 people die each year from consuming too much alcohol. Each day, that’s around 260 people (1). When collecting data, the CDC differentiates between binge drinking and heavy drinking. Binge drinking constitutes 5 or more drinks on an occasion for men and 4 or more drinks for women. Heavy drinking counts drinks by the week; 15 or more for men, and 8 or more for women (2). If you find yourself pushing the envelope against numbers like these, it’s time to seek help.
Leave Anger At The Door
You know that angry feeling you get when someone cuts you off in traffic? If not that, maybe you get a little miffed when the restaurant gets your order wrong. Or when your boss asks you to stay late. Well, have you ever felt the same way when you can’t drink? If you ever feel angry about not being able to drink when you want, that indicates that you have a problem. Ask yourself if you’ve ever felt gypped, frustrated, or cheated where drinking was concerned. If someone cuts you off and you feel angry, that means it’s time to look for treatment.
Routine, Routine, Routine
You need a routine to make your life work. You might slave away in a cubicle from 8 am until 5 pm. Or you might be a shift worker, trying to cram in some extra sleep in your car. Whatever your regular life rhythm is, it might be best not to make alcohol a part of it. To find out if this is you, have an honest conversation with yourself about your routine. Could you remove alcohol from your daily grind today, right now, and still function optimally? If you think so, then do it. If you try and find that you can’t function optimally without alcohol, then you ought to seek treatment.
Rest Is What’s Best
Alcohol makes us feel relaxed and drowsy. It might even help us fall asleep. But alcohol consumption disrupts healthy sleep patterns (3). It impairs our ability to dream and decreases how long we stay asleep. People who struggle with alcoholism frequently experience insomnia. This is especially true for binge drinkers (3). Moreover, alcohol can cause us to experience sleep apnea, which means we stop breathing while asleep. Binge drinking can increase sleep apnea by about 25% (4). Alcohol is not an effective, long-term sleep aid. If drinking is part of your nightly routine to get ready for bed, then you ought to get treatment.
What Should I Do?
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to alcohol, call Midwood Addiction Treatment now at 888-MAT-1110.