Have You Been Drinking Too Much During The Pandemic?

Many people wonder how much alcohol is “too much” alcohol. Although the answer to this question can vary from individual to individual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women have no more than 1 drink per day and that men have no more than 2 drinks per day.

If you find yourself engaging in binge drinking, which is considered 4 drinks or more a day for women, and 5 drinks for men, it's time to cut down on your alcohol consumption. If you have difficulty cutting down, then it's time to seek treatment for substance abuse issues.

How to Say NO To Drugs and Alcohol

Consuming drugs and alcohol can lead to addiction that can destroy your physical and mental health. Staying away from drugs and alcohol is the only way to positively prevent drug addiction.

That being said, some people get addicted to drugs, such as painkillers, because they were prescribed the drugs for an injury or surgery. These people didn't use drugs for recreational purposes. They took drugs as a medical necessity, and tragically developed an addiction.

Addiction: How to Know When You Need Help

The definition of addiction as provided by the American Society of Addiction Medicine: “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry . . . characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission.

Can You Help an Alcoholic?

You can’t make your loved one sober, and you can’t love away alcoholism.

Individuals who are actively addicted to alcohol are often the last to realize they need help. Likewise, family members who have been hurt, traumatized and overwhelmed by a loved one's addiction are typically at a loss as to where to turn or how to help. 

How Do You Know if You’re Addicted to Alcohol or Drugs?

While there isn’t a blood test or other lab work to diagnose addiction, there are distinctive behavioral indicators that the disease has taken hold.

If you obsess about getting the substance and using the substance, and then spend considerable time recovering from the effects of substance abuse, you’re probably looking at addiction. 

Other telltale signs include compromising your values, behaving in ways that put yourself or others at risk, and experiencing negative consequences in your relationships and other aspects of your life because of your drug or alcohol use.

Patterns and Progression of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

How does alcohol or drug addiction begin? What does substance abuse look like as it progresses? How can treatment help, and recovery heal? 

Let's take a look at the stages of addiction and recovery with the hope that this information will help someone suffering with addiction, or help someone who loves a person addicted to alcohol or drugs convince them to get help.

How to Spot Addictive Behavior

What are some of the signs that your loved one may be addicted to drugs or alcohol?

Addiction can impact anyone, regardless of who they are. Not only can it impact anyone, it’s an all-encompassing disease, effecting the body and mind. 

Each drug has its own symptoms of “under the influence behavior” and people can be in different stages of addiction, so it can be difficult to pinpoint specific behaviors or symptoms of people that are high on drugs. However, there are some basic behaviors that indicate there may be an addiction problem.

How to Support a Loved One Suffering with Addiction

How can you support a loved one suffering with addiction?

Addiction does not discriminate against its victims. People of any age, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or socioeconomic status can be impacted by addiction. 

It can be excruciating watching someone you care for battle with substance abuse. You want to support them as much as possible without enabling them. You want to help them get the treatment they need and provide emotional support as they pursue a life free from the ravages of addiction.