How do I know if I am using alcohol socially or am suffering from an addiction ?

16 Answers
Last Updated: 07/10/2018 at 7:26am
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Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I have an holistic approach to therapy. There is definitely not a "one size fits all" solution. Each person is unique, as is their situation.

Top Rated Answers
Miracle
January 10th, 2015 11:24am
I would first question a couple of things 1.Is alcohol consumption affecting your life adversely eg.work/relationships. 2.Is your alcohol consumption similar to that of your friends/peers (judge this carefully though they may be addicts too). 3.Do you feel you could live and function just as well without alcohol. So once you have considered these questions and if you still have concerns it might be best to ask someone outside the situation such as a medical proffesional, because regardless of whether it can be classed as an 'addiction' there are guidelines on consumption of alcohol for health reasons.
Anonymous
January 9th, 2018 2:10am
Alochol is so prevalant in our society that it can become difficult to ascertain if we have a problem with it or not. You are concerned about it, and that in itself may be a flag for you. The key is to try to determine if alcohol interferes with your day to day well-being, that is, if it interferes with your ability to socialize in healthy ways, if you cannot socialize without it, if it interferes with your happiness, if it interferes with your health ie: sleeping or eating well, if it interferes with your job or finances, then it may be a problem for you. For more information, we have a great self-help guide on 7cups and we also have a supportive Addiction Recovery community which is open even to those who aren't sure if they have a problem or not. More research and self-awareness will ultimately help you discover the answer. Good luck!
Ej
January 10th, 2015 2:56am
I would suggest consulting with a professional as there are official tests they're able to conduct; this is the official method of figuring whether one has an alcohol dependency issue. One red flag I can suggest is when the consumption of alcohol interferes with your personal or professional life. If you're reaching out, it means you're concerned and it's always beneficial to look into these things.
PoetaSinVersos
April 7th, 2015 12:42am
Quit drinking for a while. If you do FEEL the NEED of drinking some alcohol, you probably want to seek help.
jaykes32
May 5th, 2015 7:43am
socially, alcohol is used as a part time pleasure and not as an escape, if you find yourself drinking alcohol anytime you are under pressure or when stressed out or when in trouble, you are definitely almost being an addict, because socially you only drink when you off work and around your friends and the term you use is "have a good time"
helpfulPeace78
May 29th, 2015 6:03pm
The difference between drinking socially and having an addiction is the dependency you feel towards the substance. Do you feel the need to drink alcohol on a regular basis? Do you drink alcohol alone? If you are in a social situation and do not have access to alcohol, how do you feel? Exploring the answers to these questions can help you uncover the answer to your question.
zaix
October 25th, 2015 4:54pm
There is a big difference between using alcohol socially and suffering from an addiction, if you drink mostly just when you're out with friends or people whom are drinking it's probably just socially but if you feel the need to drink just for no reason at any point, or feel like you should drink until you can't feel anymore, then it may be an addiction.
greenJOHN1971
November 25th, 2015 11:25pm
If you try to stay within the safe recommend amounts, then I would say you are a social drinker. A website called drinkaware.co.uk does a really good job of explaining how to understand you drinking and keep track. 2-3 units per day is recommended for a female, 3-4 for guys. They have tools that can help you keep track. Would you like to give this site a try? Also, what do you think? Are you drinking too much?
Anonymous
November 30th, 2015 12:05am
Social drinking, is being able to set a time and an amount of alcohol you consume in a given period. An addiction is waking up in the morning drinking just to get your day started, drinking because your happy, upset, depressed, confused, and any other emotion that you may feel obligated to drink.
michaellovesplacebo
April 4th, 2016 11:26am
I think when it stops being just for fun and starts to impact on your basic needs and social life. If if you have $50 left and your getting paid in 3 days with no food in the fridge and you still go buy a drink then you have a problem
dancingStrawberry34
April 12th, 2016 5:27am
1.) .Is alcohol consumption affecting your life adversely eg.work/relationships. 2.Is your alcohol consumption similar to that of your friends/peers (judge this carefully though they may be addicts too). 3.Do you feel you could live and function just as well without alcohol. So once you have considered these questions and if you still have concerns it might be best to ask someone outside the situation such as a medical proffesional, because regardless of whether it can be classed as an 'addiction' there are guidelines on consumption of alcohol for health reasons.
Anonymous
January 31st, 2017 1:11pm
As somebody who has battled my demons with alcohol and alcoholism I think that there's a clear distinction between social and addiction. If you find yourself drinking to numb yourself and enjoy the lack of cognitive ability reducing your stresses then that could easily become and addiction. If that is the case then it boils down to intake in which case excessive amounts to achieve the previously listed effects would be considered an addiction. If you're just out with your friends having a laugh and there's drink around to enhance the experience then that's nothing more than socially drinking even if it is regularly
calmZebra60
February 15th, 2017 4:28pm
If you think it's hurting you in a way or many ways then it's addiction. If you feel like you have to use it to feel 'normal', that is a telltale sign of addiction.
Adventurer97
August 28th, 2017 5:54pm
If you feel that alcohol is hindering your ability to perform in areas of your life, or you feel that you "need" alcohol to create or maintain a certain mood or feeling, then you may want to speak with a professional. Additionally, you could also try a self-report questionnaire like this onehttps://www.ncadd.org/get-help/take-the-test/am-i-alcoholic-self-test. If you feel like you require professional help, you can use this site to either sign up for online therapy with a licensed therapist, or find a therapist/counselor in your area. You can also use the directory on Psychology Todayat https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms. I hope this helps. Please remember that I am not a licensed mental health professional myself. I wish you the best of luck.
Listener211207
November 13th, 2017 9:36pm
To be a social drinker means to drink mostly when you're with other people, in a scenario where drinking is the norm. Somebody with an alcohol addiction might find themselves drinking alone, or feeling a bit lost if they try not to drink for a period of time.
Anonymous
July 10th, 2018 7:26am
Do you feel like you need to have alcohol to feel right? Or do you just do it when with friends just have fun? It depends on which way you use it, if you use it to feel okay then you may be suffering from addiction.