For most people, the occasional night out and sharing a bottle of wine with friends is not a big deal. You don’t spend much time thinking about alcohol and you could take it or leave it.

However, for others, alcohol has become a big part of their lives and it may no longer be welcome. It may have even reached the stage where it is affecting your physical and mental health and it may be time to look seriously at how much you are drinking.

If you have already tried to stop drinking alcohol and you have been unsuccessful you should read the Canadian Centre for Addictions’s guide on Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms where you can find useful information on what you can expect during alcohol withdrawal and how you can alleviate your symptoms.  

If you suspect that your alcohol consumption has gone past healthy limits detailed in the Canadian responsible drinking guidelines, here are some ways in which you can assess if you need to do something about it.

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  1. Your whole social life revolves around alcohol

If you never attend any sort of event that does involve drinking alcohol it could be a warning sign. This is also true if you have no hobbies that do not involve you drinking alcohol. You need to find out what you love doing when you are sober.

  1. You get irritated when others mention your drinking habits

If other people have started to make comments about your drinking levels it may be time for you to take them seriously. If the comments have come from family and friends it will be because they care about you. If they have come from complete strangers, for example in a bar, it is even more serious.

It may have got to the stage that you are hiding your drinking from family members and you are drinking alone in your room. This should ring warning bells that things are getting out of control.

  1. You feel guilty about having a drink

Do you pour your glass of wine with a heavy heart? Perhaps this is because you know that you will end up overdoing it and you have started to worry about the consequences. You may already be worried about some actions that you have taken or decisions that you have made when you were under the influence of alcohol. Your inhibitions are lowered and so you take more risks or you may have become loud and aggressive.

  1. You cure a hangover by having another drink

It is not unusual to overdo the alcohol especially at a special occasion such as a birthday party. However, for most people, this results in a raging hangover and they don’t drink alcohol again for at least a week if not longer. If you cure your hangover by having another drink the very next day, you are entering into an unhealthy cycle of drinking. You need to seek help to break the cycle and remove alcohol from your life.