What is the difference between social drinking and abusing alcohol? For some this creates a grey area between the lines of alcoholism and social drinking, that results in reflective questioning. Such as; when am I crossing the line, where are the signs that warn me, and how will I know when I have gone too far?
These questions are reflective and will most certainly arise when approaching the grey lines between social drinking and alcoholism. For me I have been struggling with addiction as it has created a great deal of problems in my social life. I personally want to get sober again and stay away from these grey areas.
The following paragraphs are to be used to aid people that are dealing with struggles in knowing their limits. I do not recommend social drinking for any addicts that want to get sober again.
Social drinking is when you are able to monitor the amount of alcohol you consume as you do not wish to become fully intoxicated. Except how do you define not being fully intoxicated? This is a prime example of the grey areas in effect. Knowing when you have had enough usually requires you to have too much at one point in order to personally find out your tolerance level or limit.
Social drinking can be easy if you are following the rules of thumb for the amount of alcohol a person can consume per hour. That is easy to remember, though in case you are unaware I will describe it briefly for you. The rule is a single five ounce glass of table wine is equal to one standard 80 proof shot or one 12 ounce beer. If you are planning to drink socially then counting the amount of alcohol you consume is a great first step.
Being a person that cannot control or monitor the amount of alcohol they consume is alcoholism at its finest. As an alcoholic, it is hard to say you are an alcoholic as in your mind you could feel that you are simply having a social drink with some friends. Let us pretend that we are tailgating at a bowl game with all of our great friends otherwise known as drinking buddies. Now sure I could be off work are have the next day off too, so a hangover is the least of my worries. Except what happens when this becomes a weekly event?
Now once a week I am getting so drunk that I am making the day off my permanent day off that will now become my permanent drinking day. This could be a good idea as well as a bad idea because an alcoholic will rarely admit that they are addicted. Therefore this grey area creates, leaving us confused on whether or not “never remember the drive home” is alcoholism or just being a party animal. The fact is that Alcohol is a drug and you can become addicted even mildly.
This mild addiction is what allows us to remain in the illusion that we have control over our drinking habits. When in reality we are building our tolerance higher, resulting in more alcohol being consume with each “social event.” Knowing when to quit can be a slippery slope. I unfortunately can no longer enjoy a social drink with my drinking buddies as I am an alcoholic. You do not want to be the person that ends up not being invited to any parties because you cannot just say no to an alcoholic drink.