People who drink regularly often have to stop and ask themselves if they’re dealing with alcoholism or not. There’s a fine line between frequent drinking and alcohol addiction. If you’re the kind of person who drinks regularly, it’s important to be self-aware and continuously check in on your own drinking habits.
There are two types of addiction, physical and psychological. When you’re physically dependent on something, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink. If you’re only psychologically addicted, you’ll want to drink more than you feel like you physically need to. By checking in on these feelings, you’ll be able to gauge whether or not you’ve become addicted.
How Much is Too Much?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines moderate drinking as consuming two drinks or less for men or one drink or less for women within a one-day period. One drink is considered to be:
- 12 ounces of 5% ABV beer
- 8 ounces of 7% ABV malt liquor
- 5 ounces of 12% ABV wine
- 1.5 ounces of 40% ABV distilled spirits
However, while the alcohol consumption guidelines touch on how many drinks should be consumed in a one-day period, they don’t say much about those who drink at this threshold consistently. But, alcoholism is defined as drinking four or more drinks on any day or more than 14 in a week for men or three drinks or more on any day or more than seven drinks per week for women.
14 drinks in a week for men or seven drinks in a week for women even out to approximately two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women, the guidelines for moderate drinking. So, with that in mind, drinking every day (even in moderation) can be considered alcoholism. However, it really depends on who you ask and how you feel about your own alcohol intake.
When Nightly Drinking Turns into Alcoholism
For many, there’s a tipping point with nightly drinking. If you’re only drinking one or two glasses of wine per night and you don’t feel dependent on it, then you’re probably not addicted. However, if you’re drinking every night and you feel like you can’t stop, or you experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink, you’ve developed an addiction.
Unfortunately, by the time addiction has developed, addicts usually consume much more than one or two drinks per night. This is because their tolerance has increased, and a small amount of alcohol doesn’t produce the same feeling it used to.
Side Effects of Drinking Every Night
On top of developing an addiction, there are also many risks and side effects associated with consuming alcohol on a nightly basis. The short term effects of alcohol consumption include:
- Poor judgment
- Concentration problems
- Decreased coordination
- Slowed reaction time
- Blacking out
- And more
When you drink every night, it may feel impossible to get other tasks done. You won’t be able to focus on work or school or anything else that needs to be done. You also won’t be able to drive or do anything that requires your attention.
In the long run, long-term alcohol use can also cause problems in the heart, lungs, and brain. Long-term alcohol use is also linked with an increased risk of cancer.
When to Get Help
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, it may be time to seek help. If you or someone you love is drinking every night at an increased rate and having a tough time stopping, call Asheville Recovery Center today. We’re eager to help you get and stay sober.