Having a drink is a common way to unwind after a long, stressful day.
But if one drink often turns into three then five, you may have a problem.
An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths each year, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Could you be next?
Before it’s too late, check out these signs you drink too much.
1. It’s Getting Harder to Feel a Buzz
Over time, your alcohol tolerance may build up. Soon, it may take three drinks to feel the buzz you used to get from a single beverage.
And it isn’t only your wallet that will suffer the consequences of your heightened tolerance—your body will as well.
Alcohol already causes damage to the liver and brain. More exposure to the harmful toxins in alcohol weakens your system and can impair your brain as well as your liver’s ability to filter out harmful chemicals.
2. Your Memory Is Declining
Unfortunately, society tends to romanticize wild nights of drinking.
Drinking to the point of blacking out is expected and, in some cases, encouraged. This is especially true of adolescents.
While it may seem funny to hear your friend say “Oh man, I can’t remember what I did last night. What happened?” the reality of the matter is far more sinister.
Blacking out is actually a form of amnesia. When you drink too much, your brain can’t function enough to form new memories.
Over time, these blackouts can damage brain cells to the point of impacting one’s cognitive ability permanently.
3. You Don’t Drink Often, But You Make up For Lost Time
Too much drinking doesn’t mean drinking on a regular basis. Binge drinking can be just as harmful to your body as steady exposure to alcohol.
Binge drinking occurs when a person drinks more than four or five drinks in a span of two hours.
If you don’t drink often, but you consume a lot, you still may be drinking way too much.
4. Alcohol Has Become a Coping Mechanism
Alcohol is a depressant, which causes its calming or relaxing nature.
Sadly, this also means it’s misused as a coping mechanism after a hard day.
If you’re concerned that you’re experiencing the early signs of alcoholism, start paying attention to why you drink. Are you drinking because you feel sad, angry, or stressed?
Alcohol and drug use isn’t a healthy coping mechanism, and those uncomfortable feelings won’t disappear even if the contents of the bottle do.
If you’re looking to learn healthy coping mechanisms, talk to an expert, like the folks at Taylor Recovery Center.
5. Your Life Revolves Around Alcohol
Have you noticed you keep thinking about drinking even when you’re nowhere near alcohol?
If so, you may have an unhealthy dependence on alcohol.
Should your social plans often involve alcohol, try switching things up. See how you react. If you find your mind wandering toward alcohol again, you may have a problem.
Sneaky Signs You Drink Too Much
If you find yourself resonating with one or more of these signs you drink too much, you may have a problem.
Consult your physician and talk about your options.
Looking for a clean, healthy alternative to drinking? Check out our article on how fitness can help you stay sober.