Many people see themselves as social drinkers or casual drinkers, which might include a glass of wine after work, a tipple with friends at the weekend or a drink to celebrate an event. The moment when casual drinking becomes problem drinking isn’t easy to define, but when alcohol starts to have a negative impact on your health or personal life, it becomes a problem. Signs that you could have a problem with alcohol might be:
- You find it difficult to stop drinking once you’ve started.
- You plan social events or activities around alcohol.
- The amount you spend on alcohol makes is affecting your financial situation.
- Your drinking has caused you to behave in ways you regret or has led to arguments with family and friends.
- Alcohol is impacting on your mental health.
Having a problematic relationship with alcohol isn’t the same as alcohol dependence. But over time, it can cause many of the same risks to your health. Recognising these risks now could help you to change your behaviour before long-term damage is done.