Alcohol and the United States go way back. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 85% of Americans drink alcoholic beverages at least once in their lifetime. Additionally, around 54% of adults report drinking in the past month.
With moderation, many people consume alcohol without any problems; however, NIAAA reports that a quarter of U.S. drinkers regularly engage in binge drinking. Furthermore, millions of individuals suffer from alcohol use disorder. Knowing the signs of AUD can help you identify when your drinking is out of control.
1. Have you run into legal troubles?
When a night of drinking ends up at the police station, it is often a sign of a problem. A DUI/DWI charge can stay on your record for years and often comes with severe consequences for both your personal and professional life.
2. Does alcohol interfere with caring for your family?
Another situation where you may need to reconsider your alcohol consumption is when it begins to interfere with your ability to care for your family. If, for example, you are struggling at work and it causes you to lose your job, you may not have any way to pay for necessities.
3. Do you struggle to stop drinking?
When you tell yourself you are only going to drink one or two beers, do you stick to the plan, or do you end up blackout drunk every time? If you notice you are struggling to stop drinking, it can be one of the first signs of a developing dependency.
Despite its popularity, alcohol does not come without risks. Every year, it destroys thousands of lives. Recognizing the signs of AUD can help you prevent long-term problems.