Now is the time to become more mindful about your drinking habits and to reflect on the role that alcohol plays in your life. It’s also a good time to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction—knowledge that could help you or a loved one. Alcohol becomes a problem when it impacts your life in a negative way. If you’re unsure about whether your drinking has become unhealthy, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your personal or work life deteriorating because of your drinking?
- Do you drink more, or longer, than you intend?
- Do you drink to feel better?
- Do you drink to cope with stress or other problems?
- Do you feel anxious or irritable without a drink?
Alcohol and Stress
Many people use alcohol to cope with stress, but research shows that alcohol can make it worse. While alcohol may seem to provide short-term relief, heavy alcohol consumption can lead to medical problems and increased risk of alcohol-use disorders. These resources can help you effectively deal with stress:
- Coping with Stress (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Overview: Stress and Alcohol Use Disorders Revisited (National Institutes for Health)
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers the following interactive resources to help you examine your drinking patterns further:
- Find Your Way to Quality Alcohol Treatment
- Rethinking Drinking
- Thinking About a Change - Pros & Cons
- Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder