Where's the Line with Alcohol?

When is the amount that you drink cause for concern? In a society where drinks are the norm for most social events, it can be easy to miss the slide from “social drinker” to alcohol dependance. Those around you may see the warning signs long before you do, but you might struggle with accepting their observations.

Surveys conducted by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics show that nearly 100,000 people die every year in the United States from alcohol-related disease or injury. With 60% of the people surveyed also reporting an increase in alcohol consumption since the start of the pandemic, the reports of alcohol abuse could significantly increase. But the line between drinking too much and suffering from alcohol dependence can be blurry if you’re the one living through it.

Is your drinking a bad habit or an addiction?

A “drinking problem” does not necessarily mean you are struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (commonly known as alcoholism). However, a drinking problem isn’t any less dangerous for your health and can still have a damaging impact on your family and work life. Nationally, around 25% of adults over 18 years of age report binge drinking within the last month. If you’ve experienced the following symptoms, you could be struggling with a drinking habit that puts your health and safety at risk:

When is it alcoholism?

People don’t develop alcoholism quickly, and some alcohol abusers don’t develop an alcohol addiction at all. When it does happen, it is often months or years in the making. You may not even realize when your drinking transitioned from enjoying a drink to relax to being an addiction you have to face. You are at higher risk of developing an alcohol addiction if you have a family history of alcoholism or if you struggle with mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and bipolar disorder.

Signs that you may be struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder include:

The effects of Alcoholism

Alcohol dependence can destroy entire families and careers, in addition to putting you at high risk for developing a long list of physical ailments. Over 50% of alcohol-related deaths are caused by the chronic misuse of alcohol, with liver disease being the leading cause of death. Other common health risks include heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancers, mental health disorders, and injuries sustained by falls or accidents. Alcoholism can also cause financial problems if it progresses to the point where you lose your job or prioritize purchasing alcohol over paying bills.

Finding help

There are many options for helping you or a loved one recover from alcohol dependence. A number of hotlines are available to help you find local resources and answer questions about alcoholism. These hotlines range from crisis hotlines to informational hotlines. All are all toll-free and are staffed by professionals who will keep your information private or anonymous. Other treatment options include support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), prescription medications, and professional counseling.The NCDAS survey mentioned before also reported that most people seek treatment options from a primary physician when starting their recovery, which is very important if you have or expect to experience symptoms of withdrawal. It is an excellent choice to seek the professional guidance of both a medical physician and a licensed therapist. As a last resort, rehabilitation options are also available for an immersive and supervised recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with binge drinking or alcohol dependence in California or Nevada, reach out to Medens Health to begin your road to recovery. Our licensed mental health providers are available to guide you through your journey towards sobriety. Contact us on our website or by calling/texting us at (833) 624-5400.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.