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Caring People Want You to Know — You May Be Drinking Too Much

Many of us enjoy a drink now and then — especially when socializing with friends and family.  Depending on how much you drink, your age, and health status — drinking can be either harmful or beneficial.

Do you think you drink too much at times?

A nationwide survey performed by the National Institutes of Health on alcohol use by adults in the United States shows that 3 out of 10 adults drink at levels that put them at risk for liver disease, alcoholism, and other health problems.

About 18 million adults in the U.S. have an alcohol use disorder and dependency — better known as alcoholism, or alcohol abuse.People Thinking Of Drinking

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms for alcoholism are the following:

  • Loss of control, or not being able to stop drinking alcohol, once drinking has begun
  • Craving — A strong urge or need to drink alcohol
  • Physical dependence — Withdrawal symptoms, like sweating, shakiness, nausea, and anxiety after stopping drinking alcohol
  • Tolerance — Needing to drink greater amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect

People who show signs of alcoholism will spend a great deal of time drinking, making sure they get alcohol, and recovering from the effects of alcohol on his or her system.

Alcohol abusers put themselves and others at risk of dangerous situations, like driving under the influence of alcohol, arguments with family members, legal or social problems — such as domestic violence, divorce, loss of job, arrests and fines.

Due to their excessive drinking, a person suffering with alcohol dependency may also neglect responsibilities at home, school, or at work.

A New Way of Thinking About Drinking

Health professionals are finding out more about alcoholism which is changing our perception of this chronic disease.

Data from the National Epidemiological Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions shows that 70 percent of people who develop an alcohol dependency are capable of having episodes that last 3 or 4 years.

On the other hand, the same data shows that many people recover from alcohol dependency, practicing healthy habits and with no formal treatment.

In addition, many individuals who do get professional treatment remain alcohol free.

Many people can benefit from treatment; however, it’s best to talk to a doctor to determine the best course of action.

Some tips and strategies worth trying to reduce your chances of alcohol-related problems are offered from the National Institutes of Health.

Here are a few:

  • Avoid “triggers” — Determine what triggers your urge to drink.  If drinking at home is a problem, keep little or no alcohol in your home
  • Find alternatives — Develop new and healthy habits — find hobbies, and new relationships or renew old ones
  • Include food — Eat some food so the alcohol will be absorbed more slowly in your system.  Don’t drink on an empty stomach
  • Know when to say “no” — You’re less likely to give in if you’re prepared to politely say “no” when offered a drink.

Visit the website provided by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for additional tips, strategies and valuable resources on drinking.

Please share this article for the benefit of others…

Photo courtesy of Michal Spisak via Publicdomainpictures.net | Cropped and Resized | CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

About the author: George Zapo is certified in Public Health Promotion and Education (Kent State University). George provides informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles.

6 comments… add one
  • Lawrence Bergfeld

    Once you start drinking then it is hard to get off it. So ask for water or tea at the bar. I had a Hot Lipton Tea at the bar this evening and nobody said anything. What is your excuse? :)

    Lawrence Bergfeld

    • I agree Lawrence.

      In moderation, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with drinking tea, coffee, soda, or any other non-alcoholic drink in a bar our lounge.

  • Lynn

    Great article George! Alcoholism is a real concern for me. I come from a background in addictions counseling services and I’ve seen many things working in the field. These tips are great preventative measures. Don’t forget, people don’t have to be a drunkards to be an alcoholic. If whenever you are stressed the first thing you want is a drink rather than deal with your issues head on. You can very well be developing a dependency. Help is available in many forms AA, as well as support groups for family members of those with addiction problems.

    • Thank you Lynn! You’re absolutely right with every written word of your comment.

      It’s good to know there are people like you who offer the insight, support and encouragement they need.

      Again, thank you…

  • Tina Bosela


    You did it again–another very good article!

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Some people don’t realize what harm they are doing to their bodies or even to innocent people when they consume too much alcohol.



    • Thank you Tina!

      Yes–people may not be aware of the harm they do to others, but fortunately there are signs and symptoms to bring about awareness. The websites in this article offer free support and wisdom.

      In addition, there’s additional free support and treatment for those who may be struggling on either side of the fence; those who are struggling and those who are victims.

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