How To Tell If Your Loved One Is A Social Drinker Or If They Suffer From Alcohol Abuse



In our previous blog comparing alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, we stated that there is a clear difference between the two terms. Alcohol abuse occurs when the individual drinks excessively to a point where their physical health and their relationships suffer, but an abuser chooses to continue this behavior. Alcohol addiction, on the other hand, no longer has the factor of choice. It is an illness that individuals, try as they might, cannot seem to get past unless they seek therapy for chemical dependency. If you and your loved one go out for some dinner and drinks and they seem to drink a lot, does that make them addicts? Here is the difference between someone who enjoys alcohol in an acceptable, social context and someone who is addicted to it or abusing it, as well as what outpatient programs can help.


Signs That A Loved One Is A Safe Drinker, Even In A Social Setting

  • Eating while drinking to slow the absorption of the alcohol and its depressive effects.

  • Not turning to alcohol when thirsty. Alcohol isn’t hydrating, so turning to fresh juice or water, instead, is advised.

  • Not drinking alcohol when stressed or tired. Although drinking alcohol can reduce tension and help people loosen up, it should never be consumed with the intention of releasing stress. There are several other healthy ways to reduce stress, such as yoga, writing/reading, meditating, and more.

  • Knowing when to stop. Not drinking for the sole purpose of getting drunk is a good indicator that the individual is a safe and responsible drinker.

  • Not drinking and driving.

  • Avoiding mixing medications with alcohol.


Signs Of Problematic Drinking Resulting From Chemical Dependency, Alcohol Abuse, and Alcohol Addiction

  • Frequent, uncontrolled drinking episodes.

  • Drinking for the purpose of getting drunk.

  • Driving while drunk instead of calling a friend, family member, or taking a taxi.

  • Getting injured while drinking.

  • Using alcohol as a crutch. As mentioned before, alcohol in moderation can certainly ease any social interactions and tension, but relying on alcohol to have a good time is the result of chemical dependency.

  • Drinking too quickly. This often relates to the desire of drinking just to get drunk.

  • Having health and relationship problems and continuing to drink.


What To Do If You Think A Loved One May Suffer From Chemical Dependency


If after learning the difference between social drinking and problematic drinking you think that you or a loved one may be suffering from alcohol abuse or addiction, then please get an assessment at our Houston chemical dependency rehab center. If we determine that underlying substance abuse is present, we will create a custom-tailored treatment plan that consists of our adult outpatient programs for chemical dependency. We offer an intensive outpatient program for chemical dependency as well as a supportive outpatient program for alcohol abuse to meet the needs of the patient at different stages in their recovery.

Sacred Oak Medical Center is a recently constructed, state-of-the-art facility which opened its doors in March of 2017. Our services include Adult inpatient mental health, Adult medical detox and substance abuse rehabilitation, partial hospitalization and outpatient programs. Our hospital hosts 80 beds and expanded facilities. We are accepting referrals for all programs.

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