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Does Drinking Everyday Make You an Alcoholic?

man sitting on his couch with a glass of alcoholic wondering if drinking everyday makes him an alcoholic

Drinking everyday does not necessarily mean you are an alcoholic. It could indicate that you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, though. 

Getting home from a long day of work, and relaxing with a glass of wine, or a beer is normalized in our society. You may be curious if you are suffering from an alcohol use disorder if these behaviors are your normal, as well. The only way to determine if you are an alcoholic is to take an honest inventory of certain factors we will discuss below. 

Is Alcohol Use Disorder the Same as Alcoholism?

Alcohol use disorder is the clinical term for many different alcohol-related issues. Heavy drinking, binge drinking, alcohol abuse, alcohol dependency, and alcoholism could all fall under this category. Alcohol use disorder is defined as a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol.

Alcoholism Risk Factors

Risk factors are characteristics at the biological, psychological, family, community, or cultural level that precede and are associated with a higher likelihood of a negative outcome. Alcohol Use Disorder has many pre-determined risk factors that could play a role in the higher probability of developing the chronic disease. 

The main risk factors for alcoholism are:

  • Age of first use
  • Family history and genetics
  • Environmental factors
  • Social expectations
  • Mental health 

 

The risk factors are just a guideline of what increases the risk of becoming addicted to alcohol. However, anyone can develop the chronic illness of alcoholism. The physically addictive substance of alcohol could induce dependence or addiction, especially if you drink every day. 

How Do I Know What 1 Drink is Considered?

How do you determine 1 drink? There are exact definitions and measurements of what is considered 1 alcoholic drink.  Each type of alcohol has a different alcohol content, so the ounces in “1 drink” vary. 

  • Liquor/Distilled Spirits– 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is around 40% alcohol
  • Wine– 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
  • Beer– 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol

 

Does Drinking Everyday Make You an Alcoholic?

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the chemistry in your brain. Anxiety and depression may develop if alcohol consumption is continued for an extended period of time. Because some people believe drinking could help them be more relaxed, or happy in social situations, they don’t realize the mental health toll it can take. 

After alcohol’s effects wear off, the feelings of euphoria, happiness, and calmness turn into despair, depression, and anxiety. That’s an easy way for drinking to become a cycle. Drink because you are depressed, and then you’re depressed because you are drinking. When this happens, it quickly becomes a habit, which can turn into a dependence or addiction. 

Having a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail every evening doesn’t automatically make you an alcoholic. If you are drinking more than 1 drink a day, your risk is dramatically higher for developing a dependence on alcohol. There are physical, and emotional consequences of continued alcohol consumption, as well. 

Alcohol affects our physical bodies. Your liver can become damaged after prolonged filtering of alcohol’s toxins.  If the drinking continues, liver disease, stomach issues, ulcers or even cancers could develop. Physical consequences can become more severe, the longer you engage in daily drinking. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder?

Each person shows different signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence or abuse. There are some commonalities between everyone, though. 

The most common symptoms and signs of alcoholism:

  • Making excuses to miss work, or other required activities
  • Physically dependent, needing alcohol to feel normal
  • Alcohol tolerance gets higher, making it harder to feel it’s effects
  • Drinking consistently, even in situations when it isn’t permitted
  • Developing depression or anxiety
  • Can not stop drinking, even if you want to
  • Obsessive thinking about alcohol, and when you can drink next
  • Isolating from loved ones

 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may mean you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Dig deep and evaluate yourself honestly. You may realize you could benefit from talking to an admissions coordinator at Agape Detox Center. They are compassionate and have the answers to any questions you may have. 

How to Get Help

The first step in getting help is admitting you may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. 

Calling Agape Detox Center may sound like a big next step. But, it is a great step in the right direction. They have many different alcohol treatment programs, as well as substance abuse, and mental health disorders. So, they can help you, no matter what you’re dealing with.

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