A common phrase you may hear from friends when asking about their drinking is, “I’m a social drinker, not an alcoholic.” Social drinker vs. alcoholic is a very thin line that can be easily crossed if people aren’t careful with their drinking. When social drinking turns to alcoholism, an alcohol addiction treatment program can help and create powerful coping skills to maintain their sobriety.
At Arkview Recovery Center, we can help you or a loved one with alcohol addiction through our detox and residency programs. We believe in treating the whole person and not just the disease. Therefore, your treatment will be based on your individual and unique needs. This customized treatment may include family therapy and medication-assisted therapy. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction and are ready for genuine, long-lasting recovery, call 717.744.0756 today. It’s time that you learn more about the difference between a social drinker vs. alcoholic.
What is a Social Drinker?
Some people think that having a few drinks at dinner, during a business meeting, or out with friends is not a problem. Unfortunately, such behavior can lead to a dependence on alcohol. You will find plenty of articles about how one or two glasses of alcohol a night are good for you. What they don’t tell you is that over time, your body’s tolerance will increase. As a result, those 1-2 glasses you have each night, plus additional drinking on the weekend, can lead to addiction.
If you consider yourself a social drinker, watch out for these early warning signs of dependence and alcoholism:
- Drinking more and more each night
- Thinking about alcohol during the day
- Drinking earlier and earlier in the day
5 Stages of Alcoholism
You don’t have to have a genetic predisposition for addiction to become addicted. While alcoholism does affect each person differently, the overall effect is the same and can lead to a social drinker becoming addicted to alcohol. You can help yourself avoid becoming addicted to alcohol by understanding the stages of alcoholism:
- Occasional abuse/binge drinking – The first time people start drinking, they go out with the intention of getting drunk just to experience the feeling. Binge drinking is popular with first-time drinkers.
- Increased drinking – At this stage, everything you do after work or on the weekend involves alcohol. At non-alcoholic events, you feel like having a drink would make the event better.
- Problem drinking – The third stage is when the physical signs of addiction begin to appear and an increase in risky behavior like drinking and driving. You may also begin to face relationship troubles as your increased drinking affects your personal and professional relationships.
- Alcohol dependence – Tolerance levels and dependence increases the more you drink. It becomes necessary to keep drinking in order just to get through the day. Withdrawal symptoms will begin a few hours after your last drink and will worsen until you drink again.
- Alcohol addiction – At this stage, you drink out of necessity, not pleasure. You will feel like you cannot function without drinking and will do anything to get that next drink, including stealing and harming yourself and others.
Arkview Recovery Center Can Help You Recognize the Difference Between a Social Drinker vs. Alcoholic
At Arkview Recovery Center, we’re here for you when social drinking turns into alcoholism. We can assist you through the painful withdrawal symptoms and help you understand your addiction. We’ll also give you healthy coping skills to maintain your sobriety for life. We rely on evidence-based behavioral therapy, family counseling, and pharmacotherapy treatment (as needed) to give you the greatest chances at getting control of your addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, call 717.744.0756 today to enroll in our substance abuse treatment program.