Many people, at some point or another, question how much alcohol they are consuming. Maybe a friend or loved one has suggested there might be a problem. A drunk person might do something wrong that he will regret eventually. Either way, it’s important to consider the distinction between healthy alcohol consumption and troubling, addictive behavior.

Culturally, you can drink to excess on important occasions to celebrate major life milestones. Most common occasions are graduation, getting married and work promotions. On these occasions, binge drinking is not really considered to be problematic in the same way that consuming that same amount of alcohol might be if done on a random Tuesday at lunch. Therefore, the context for drinking is important to consider when you are asking questions about whether you are becoming alcoholic.

An additional element of context involves what time of day you drink and whether you drink alone or with companions. Most happy hours begin in the late afternoon because drinking later in the day is considered more acceptable. If you’re drinking earlier in the day, especially drinking early in the morning, then you’re probably engaging in addictive behavior. Drinking alone could also indicate a level of dependence on alcohol that is not as easily suggested by drinking to facilitate social interactions with other people.

How to Assess Alcoholism


The idea of being social with others is a key indicator in another way. If your personality changes greatly while drinking, for example, if you become more belligerent or antagonistic when you drink, this could definitely be a sign that you have a problem involving alcohol. In this scenario, your alcohol use is not helping you to have a good time with others

The issue of quantity is also a determining factor in assessments of alcoholism. Alcoholics often cannot stop drinking once they have started and will continue their consumption well beyond that of the other people who are joining them. “Blacking out” is a potential sign of serious addiction. It happens when you’re drinking too much to the point where you have trouble remembering what you said or did.

The alcohol’s effects on your body are also a good way to gauge whether you might have a drinking problem. Waking up with muscle tremors could indicate that your body is going through withdrawal. This means that you’ve been drinking so much and so regularly that your body has developed a dependency on alcohol. Whether you can “handle your liquor” can also point to a problem with drinking because an alcoholic whose body is developing a dependency will need to drink more alcohol in order to achieve a drunken state.

Think about all of the various activities that fill your time. If you build your schedule around activities that involve alcohol consumption, then seek help from a therapist dedicated to recovery.