The line between social drinking and alcohol addiction is very fine. We live in a culture and society of excess, including the use of alcohol. There is a significant lack of emphasis placed on moderation, but rather more emphasis placed on the idea that indulging in alcohol as a way to let loose and have fun. Research shows that nearly half the population of the U.S. consumes alcohol and nearly 20 percent of those have excessive and chronic alcohol use, crossing the line from being social drinkers to heavy drinkers.
Alcohol use does not discriminate between gender, race, age or socioeconomic status; although it appears that more men than women are affected by excessive alcohol use. In recent years, binge drinking among college students and young professionals has proven to be a problem. Studies show that the main reason this has become a phenomenon is due largely to the amount of freedom experienced by young adults as they find themselves away from their parent's supervision and without any real supervision for the first time in their life. At this age, the individual is still going through a developmental stage and some undesirable habits and behaviors may be formed.
Most physicians agree that healthy alcohol consumption is between two to five drinks per week, there are other contributing factors to alcohol addiction besides the amount of alcohol consumed such as the reasons an individual drinks, the time of day they use alcohol and how they consume alcohol.
There are warning signs or indicators that show if an individual has the potential for overusing alcohol such as:
If alcohol use is impacting your life in a negative way you may want to being seeking help. Many social drinkers can successfully moderate alcohol use without ever having a problem. However, just because you have a drinking problem does not mean that you're diseased or addicted to alcohol. You have just developed behavior patterns surrounding alcohol use.
If you're ready to change your life, St. Jude Retreats offers a four week cognitive behavioral education program that can teach you how to live a life full of purpose that is permanently free from alcohol use.