Do I have a drinking problem? I will follow that question with others. Do you rarely turn down a drink offered to you every dinner time? Are you the kind of person who fully maximizes on happy hour cocktails? Maybe you just enjoy your drink a little too much. That said, about 1/3 of Americans are alcoholics. Unfortunately, only 20% of them seek help. Question is, are you among the 80% that hides under the “I enjoy my drink. I have no problem”? Plus, how much alcohol is too much per week?

Read on as we explore this further and answer the question “how do I know if I drink too much“?

Signs you drink too much

People are alarmingly drinking more. And most of them have reached the ‘Alcohol Abuse Disorder’ quota. These are people who are knocking back more than 5 to 10 drinks in one sitting. Now there is the binge drinking every weekend. This happens with most people between the age of 18 and 34. But much as this age set is likely to go overboard, its the 65-year-olds who do it more often.

Now, while a drink or two might be harmless, binge drinking accounts for over  80,000 deaths a year in the US. And these deaths can be prevented. So how do I know if I drink too much?

For women, more than four within a short period of time is much. For men its more than five.

Now according to experts, binge drinking once in a while doesn’t necessarily mean I have a drinking problem. To answer your Do I have a drinking problem question, here are some signs. Trust me, most of us are in the middle…

Drinking just reigns on you

If I have promised myself that I will only have a drink or two at happy hour, then you end up drowning five, then you clearly have no control of your drinking. Or when you can’t even account for how much you have had. If you keep telling yourself I drank too much and that’s an issue, then it probably is. Drinking problems are like the usual health problems like diabetes or heart disease. They develop gradually. Just keep tabs on how much you drink. If you don’t, then maybe something isn’t just right.

You thrive on weekends

One of the signs you drink too much is that you might not be drinking but you drink regularly on weekends. The thing is, abstinence from alcohol 5 days a week then guzzling large amounts of alcohol answers your do I have a problem question. Much as seven drinks could be OK per week, drinking all seven in one seating negates your efforts towards warding off risks of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It’s even riskier for smaller women than it is for larger men.

You forget stuff

Much as alcohol affects people differently, the answer to do I have a drinking problem lies in the memory. So if you go drinking and need your buddies to remind you about the night or have no clue how you got home or went to bed, then you overdid it. That’s how I gauge if I drink too much. And if this happens on a daily basis, then there is a problem.

You become a dare devil

When I want to know whether I drank too much and that’s an issue, I analyze my behavior. For instance, if you are a shy person and you suddenly find yourself dancing on the bar, then that’s a bit much. It means the alcohol is inhibiting your thinking. It might be a one time drink up but it can ruin your life for good. Alcohol has been the factor behind lots of burn injuries, fatal falls, drowning, car accidents, even sexual assault. If any of these things have happened then you need to own it by saying “I have a drinking problem”.

You skip your responsibilities

Do I have a drinking problem? If you start neglecting important things in life for alcohol, then you do have a problem. If you are a parent and you suddenly start to neglect things like putting them to bed or preparing them for school on time, then the drinking is too much. When you start priritizing drinking over your normal day-to-day life and are wondering how much alcohol is too much per week, then you are probably in the alcohol problem zone.

You need that extra drink to feel the buzz

If you are drinking  more than you usually do in order to feel the buzz of alcohol, then it means your tolernce for alcohol is increasing. It means your brain is adapting to the alcohol. High tolerance might seem like a good thing when partying but its also a sign you are becoming a chronic drinker and are having an alcohol problem. You should be concerned and own it by saying “I drink too much”.

People close to you show concern about the drinking

When family, friends or coworkers hints or tell me that they are worried, it doesn’t matter why I drink. I usually know that its time to cut back. Its the sure way to recognize that you are drinking more than you should. Start monitoring it and tell people to cut you off once you reach your limit. And if you are afraid to ask people “Do I have a drinking problem?” then you definitely have it.

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