‘Tis the season for parties. Whether you spend your holidays raising a glass with family, friends, or colleagues, or sipping piña coladas on some tropical island for your end-of-year break, chances are you’ll be surrounded by alcohol from now until January.
Pretty sweet, right?
It sure is – as long as you know your limits.
Problem is, a lot of people don’t. Alcoholism is on the rise in the US, with 1 in 8 adults meeting the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder. For people under 30, that rate goes up to nearly 1 in 4. And the numbers are always higher for men.
Hang on, you say. You’re only a social drinker.
Maybe so, but it can be hard to know when you’ve crossed the line from habit to addiction. Since there’s no flashing neon sign to mark the transition to addictive behavior, we asked The Dawn, an addiction treatment center in Thailand, to share their insights. Here are some red flags they recommend watching out for:
- Drinking disrupts your lifestyle. From friction in relationships to poor performance on the job, to getting in trouble with the police – if an increase in alcohol has coincided with your life going less smoothly, you may want to slow it down.
- You look for reasons to drink. Drinking can be part of a good time, but alcohol shouldn’t be the reason it’s a good time. If you’re putting alcohol as the priority, and telling lies or making excuses to keep going down that road, it’s time to check yourself.
- You engage in risky behavior. Daily drinking, driving under the influence, drinking in inappropriate situations – these are major warning signs.
- It starts taking a physical toll on you. If your tolerance for alcohol is getting weirdly high, and your hygiene standards are getting weirdly low, or you feel withdrawal symptoms when you take a day off drinking, you’ve probably gone too far.
- Alcohol affects your emotional life. Feeling shame or defensiveness about your drinking habit, or experiencing frequent mood swings, could mean that the drug has got its hooks into you.
- Other people start showing concern. Personality and behavioral changes can often be seen first by people who know you. It could be that they’re all wrong and you’re right … but it could also be that they see something you don’t.
If you are concerned about losing control of your drinking habit, there are many ways to get help – but each one starts by admitting that you have a problem. As we saw earlier, alcoholism is a common condition. The decision to get clean demonstrates strength, not weakness.
As a full medical rehab and wellness center, The Dawn offers professional addiction treatment in Thailand. Located in scenic Chiang Mai, far away from potential triggers, The Dawn uses advanced cognitive behavioral therapy to lead clients away from drug and alcohol addiction, and back to sobriety. Their 1:1 staff to client ratio ensures that each patient receives personal attention, while also remaining affordable.