Alcohol consumption: when does it become a problem?

30.04.2021 - Addiction, Alcohol, Q&A

Alcohol is one of the most socially accepted drugs in the world.

Over 82% of Brits say that they’ve drunk alcohol in the last 12 months.

The fact that alcohol is so common, combined with how readily available it is, excess alcohol consumption can quickly lead to dependency and other physical and mental problems. 

In this article, you’ll learn the finer details of alcohol consumption and see the problems that come of regular and long-term alcohol use. You’ll also find the best possible ways to help someone with what you think may be a drinking problem. 

If you’ve begun to question whether your drinking habits or the habits of someone around you are beginning to be harmful, recognising your situation and understanding the recommended alcohol intake can help promote safe alcohol consumption. 

However, in some situations, it can be quite evident there’s a problem. Daily use of alcohol causes many health and social problems for both the individual and those around them. 

What is alcohol dependency?

Alcohol dependency (also known as alcohol use disorder or alcoholism) is a physical or mental dependence on alcohol. Alcohol dependency can lead to serious health and social problems and difficulty maintaining responsibilities. 

There are many symptoms of alcohol dependency, with some of the most common and easy to spot being:

  • Drinking alone
  • Becoming violent when drinking
  • Missing work or school
  • Hiding alcohol use
  • Irritability after periods of not drinking (withdrawals). 

In many parts of the world, alcohol is seen as a routine part of the social landscape where alcohol frequently accompanies socialising. In this context, it is easy to overlook or discount the health and social damage caused or contributed to by drinking.

The way that alcohol is socially intertwined in many cultures also plays a significant factor, too. It’s a substance that’s synonymous with celebrations, parties and socialising. Many people feel uncomfortable, out of place or unwelcome if they’re at a social event and aren’t holding an alcoholic drink of some type. 

On the other hand, cultures that forbid the consumption of alcohol simultaneously drive people to want to drink. It’s addictive nature, combined with the taboo factor make it easy for people who culturally aren’t allowed to drink, to become alcoholics. 

The role of alcohol in many societies of the world lead it to be the root of many dependencies that don’t go diagnosed and go on to cause long-term damage.