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What is the Difference between Social Drinking and Alcoholism? Dr Quintal & Associates Counseling Center

Alcoholism is when problem drinking becomes a health condition. It’s characterized by an inability to cut back on alcohol without the help of an addiction treatment professional. Most alcoholics cannot predict or control how much alcohol they’ll end up consuming once they start.

Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure and increases your risk of an enlarged heart, heart failure or stroke. Even a single binge can cause serious irregular heartbeats called atrial fibrillation. Heavy drinking can result in inflammation of the stomach lining , as well as stomach and esophageal ulcers. It can also interfere with your body’s ability to get enough B vitamins and other nutrients.

Tips for Moderating Drinking

In 2014, nearly 88 percent of people 18 and older reported drinking alcohol at some point in their lives, per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The wide availability of alcohol has contributed to its use during many special occasions.

Therefore, consuming the substance in social settings can give way to miscommunication. Individuals often turn to alcohol before an evening out with friends. For many, it is perceived to be a social lubricant that improves mood, reduces self-consciousness and enhances social skills.

Societal Influences: Advertising, Marketing, and Social Media

This is particularly true for those in social environments with high visibility and societal influence, nationally and internationally, where alcohol frequently accompanies socializing. In this context, it is easy to overlook or discount the health and social damage caused or contributed to by drinking.. Heavy episodic drinking is defined as the proportion of adult drinkers who have had at least 60 grams or more of pure alcohol on at least one occasion in the past 30 days. An intake of 60 grams of pure alcohol is approximately equal to 6 standard alcoholic drinks. The map shows heavy drinkers – those who had an episode of heavy drinking in the previous 30 days – as a share of total drinkers (i.e those who have drunk less than one alcohol drink in the last 12 months are excluded). Your ongoing recovery depends on continuing mental health treatment, learning healthier coping strategies, and making better decisions when dealing with life’s challenges.

Inpatient programs are residential and provide alcohol detox programs and on-site therapies in a secure and supervised environment. However, they may have a low tolerance to alcohol and a high risk of getting drunk if they overindulge.

Difference Between Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Use Disorder

Substance abuse experts make a distinction between alcohol abuse and alcoholism . Unlike alcoholics, alcohol abusers have some ability to set limits on their drinking. However, their alcohol use is still self-destructive social drinking and drinking problem and dangerous to themselves or others. Drinking problems can sneak up on you, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of alcohol abuse and alcoholism and take steps to cut back if you recognize them.

January 4, 2023

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