Last updated: October 19, 2020
The country band Midland has a song out right now called “Drinkin’ Problem.” The chorus includes this:
People say I got a drinkin’ problem
But I got no problem drinkin’ at all
They keep on talking
They call it a problem, I call it a solution
Yes, it’s kind of funny—like many country songs—but I can assure you that once you get to the point that you see alcohol as a solution to the challenges you face in life, you have a drinking problem. In 2015, 27% (more than one in four) people reported engaging in binge drinking. Binge drinking is whenever a person drinks enough to go above the legal driving limit, which is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are due to many interconnected factors, including genetics, how you were raised, your social environment, and your emotional health. People who have a family history of alcoholism or who associate closely with heavy drinkers are more likely to develop drinking problems. Those who suffer from a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder are also particularly at risk, because alcohol may be used to self-medicate.
Do you have a drinking problem? You may if you…
- Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking
- Lie to others or hide your drinking habits
- Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking
- Need to drink in order to relax or feel better
- “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking
- Regularly drink more than you intended to
What starts as social drinking may turn into alcohol abuse, which could lead to alcoholism (a true, physical addition to alcohol). Since drinking is so common in the U.S. and the effects vary so widely from person to person, it’s not always easy to figure out where the line is between social drinking and problem drinking. The bottom line is how alcohol affects you. If your drinking is causing problems in your life, you have a drinking problem. Get help.
Admitting you have a drinking problem is the first step. It takes tremendous strength and courage to face alcohol abuse and alcoholism head on. Reaching out for support is the second step. There are people who want to help you. Whether you choose to go to rehab, rely on self-help programs, get therapy, or take a self-directed treatment approach, support is essential. Recovering from an alcohol problem is much easier when you have people you can lean on for encouragement, comfort, and guidance.
Alcohol can destroy lives. Don’t let it destroy you. If you need help or someone to talk to, call us.