5 signs you need to quit drinking

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink occasionally, it can be difficult to recognise when harmless fun becomes binge-drinking or even alcohol abuse. How can you tell when your alcohol intake is becoming dangerous? Here are 5 signs.

Your drinking has increased

Have you noticed that you are drinking more than you used to? Your body might be getting used to the alcohol intake, causing you to need larger amounts to start feeling tipsy or drunk. Having constant alcohol cravings and wanting to spend more time under the influence is the first sign that you may need to slow down.

Always trying to find excuses to drink

If you are always thinking about alcohol and trying to find an excuse to drink, it could signal a drinking problem. Alcohol dependence usually starts gradually, which is why it’s important to monitor and limit your drinking to avoid it.

Drinking to cope

Do you find yourself drinking to feel good or to cope with stress or anxiety? It’s important for us to find positive ways to deal with life’s daily stressors and negative emotions. This can be anything from exercise, talking to a friend, or listening to music. Positive coping techniques don’t endanger your health or cause bigger problems, which is exactly what drinking alcohol does.

Your loved ones are worried about your drinking

If your loved ones are starting to complain about your drinking, that could be a sign that you need to stop. This means that they may have noticed a concerning pattern in your drinking. Don’t ignore it or dismiss it, Choma. Usually the people who care about us are the first to notice when something is not good for us.

It affects your life

When drinking starts causing issues at school, work or in your relationships, then it’s a sign that you need to slow down or quit completely. If you find that your marks are dropping at school, you are often late for work engagements or have become aggressive towards loved ones because of alcohol, then you may have a problem and you can address it by seeking help. The AA is a good place to start, or you can send me a message to get advice on other ways of finding help.

It’s important for us to always look at our own behaviour in order to correct it. South Africa has a culture of binge drinking and alcohol and over the years we have seen the negative effects that this can have on individuals, families and communities. That’s why I encourage you to look at your own drinking habits and if you find that you can relate to one or more of the behaviours I have mentioned above, make a change. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone – use the resources I have provided.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).