Like my friend, have you found yourself asking the question – I drink every night, am I an alcoholic? If so, this may be a sign that you may be showing signs of alcohol dependence.
Daily drinking of alcohol at night sometimes falls into a gray area of alcohol use. In other words, it is hard to determine if you’re a normal drinker or a problematic drinker.
Is having a nice glass of wine at night really bad for you? Or is going to the bar each day a bad habit? How can you know?
Well, The CDC defines moderate drinking as 2 drinks or less per day for men, and 1 drink or less per day for women.
This is based on the standard drink sizes:
- A 1.5 oz. shot of about 40 percent alcohol
- A 5 oz. glass of wine with 12 percent alcohol
- A 12 oz. beer with 5 percent alcohol
With this in mind, having a drink per night with an alcohol concentration higher than the standard CDC numbers means you’re introducing more booze into your system than you realize.
This is something to keep in mind when working out whether your alcohol daily dose is problematic. At any rate, multiple drinks every night is likely a problem.
Your reason for drinking on a daily basis matters too. If your reason for having two beers per night is to cope with anxiety or depression, then your drinking habit cold likely snowballs into addiction or dependency – even if it hasn’t created any obvious problems in your life yet.
It is vital to remember that not all alcohol-dependent individual appear unkempt, homeless, lack control of their life, and drink all day. This isn’t always the case. In fact, an alcoholic can have a great job, good social life, be surrounded by family and friends, and still drink to a stupor in the evening.
If your alcohol consumption has increased and is beginning to take negative toll on your life, it may be time to look a bit closer at your drinking habits.
Drinking Every Night – A Sign of Problem Drinking or Alcoholism?
Here are some common signs of alcohol addiction to watching out for:
- Experiencing complaints and negative feedback from family and friends after drinking. Negative feelings could also make you feel increasingly ashamed or guilty about your secret.
- Drinking until you blackout and cannot remember events the night before, including people, behaviors, and conversations. The image is in your head but it isn’t clear so you resort to dropping hints, or only remember when someone reminds you.
- Feeling indifference about the amount you drink
- The drive of having or needing a drink before you go out in case there isn’t enough. You may have also noticed that other people don’t drink in the same manner as you.
- Sneaking around to have your drink. Lying to others and hiding your stash of supplies away from people
- One bottle is never enough. So, you drink more and more than what you initially planned for the evening.
- Drinking to relax or relieve stress
- Prioritizing your drinking above your responsibilities, like work, family, and hobbies
- Wanting to cut down or stop drinking every night but being unable to
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need a drink every night?
- Do I need to drink to get through a social event, personal struggle, or stressful situation?
- Do I feel a STRONG compulsion to drink?
If you answer “Yes” to all three questions then you’re exhibiting signs of psychological dependence on alcohol. This is just as serious as physical addiction, and it needs to be addressed now.
Regular heavy drinking over a long period of time causes you to develop a tolerance to alcohol, where you drink more and more to feel fewer effects. The more you drink, the less you feel.
If in the evening, you feel you aren’t getting drunk enough despite having lots of alcohol – this can be a sign that you have an alcohol problem.
Quit drinking for 90 days and see what happens. If during the course of 90 days, you begin to exhibit withdrawal symptoms like tremors, sweating or shakes – these are signs of physical addiction too.
It’s crucial to recognize that it’s dangerous to suddenly stop drinking without first consulting your GP.
Reasons Not to Drink Every Night
While mild amounts of alcohol can be good for you. A lot of people quickly develop the habit of getting addicted to alcohol drinking after work on a daily basis.
Here are some reasons not to consider drinking every night:
The fact that drinking increases your risk of other health issues is enough to quit drinking now.
The realization that you might have an alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a major reason to consider quitting or reducing your drinking. AUD can damage your health, relationships, professional life, and many other important aspects of your well-being.
How To Stop Drinking Alcohol Every Night
There are simple steps you can take to quit alcohol and they include:
Keep Alcohol Out of Your House
Yes, that’s right. There is no sense in keeping alcohol around to tempt yourself.
Keeping alcohol out of your house is the first step to your rehab recovery.
Replace Your Routine
The secret here is to restructure your time in such a way that your habits are rewired.
For example, you could pick up a new hobby or join a new club. Adopt a pet and take it for walks, or die a bike around town.
When you fill in your time with engaging activities (and especially when you change your environment), you can shift your mind away from those old drinking habit loops.
If everything else fails, you can also drink something else instead. Try drinking water. DO NOT drink sugary drinks.
Build Accountability with Those in Your Life
Yes, announce to your friends and family that you plan to cut back.
This creates an additional layer of accountability that can help you stay sober when you feel like grabbing a drink.
Use Healthy Distractions
Rather than give in to the cravings, you can spend time on activities such as:
- Creating through writing, art, poetry, etc.
- Watching a TV series with family members, a partner, or a friend.
- Any other hobbies that catch your interest
Addiction Treatment Programmes
Yes, ask around for residential programmees.
These programmes provide you with the space and time away from your everyday life to really focus on why you drink and how you can begin to live your life alcohol-free going forward.
These treatment programs use a series of workshops, seminars, individual working time, and therapy sessions to enlighten you on the causes and triggers for your alcohol use and learn the various strategies for life going forward without this dependency.
Day Care Treatment Programmes
Some rehabilitation clinics might offer daycare programmes, which are recommended for those who don’t need detoxification or residential treatment but instead need therapy sessions and educational workshops on how to achieve and maintain abstinence.
You can attend therapy sessions, where you will learn and maintain your triggers, work through your reasons for drinking, and develop coping strategies to help you live a healthier life.
ALSO SEE: Does Spicy Food Cure A Hangover?
Is It Bad To Have A Drink Every Night?
Occasional drink in the evening or wine with dinner is not a health concern for most people. However, when drinking is integrated into a daily activity, though, it may be a sign of progression into heavy drinking and place you at increased health risks.
So, I suggest you take a closer look at how much you drink.
Drinking alcohol in moderation generally is not a problem. In fact, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says the moderate drinking or low-risk range for women should be no more than 3 drinks per day and no more than 7 drinks per week.
For men, this is 4 drinks per day and no more than 14 drinks per week.
Note: These figures are based on standard-size drinks, which USUALLY contain about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That equals 5 ounces of wine, 8-9 ounces of malt liquor, 12 ounces of beer, and 1.5 ounces (one shot) of 80-proof spirits or hard liquor.
That said, most drinkers have more than a standard drink in one glass. For instance, a lot of wine glasses are far higher than 5 ounces. You could easily drink 9 ounces of wine in a glass. So, if you have two of those glasses during a meal, you are consuming about three and a half standard drinks.
While it is fairly common for people to gauge how much they should drink by making sure they don’t drink to the point of becoming drunk, this method can be inaccurate, sometimes.
Researchers who study alcohol abuse discovered that people with high tolerance to alcohol, who do not feel the effects of alcohol after they drink many alcoholic beverages, are actually at a higher risk for alcohol-related problems.
You know what’s shocking? The fact that you may not feel the effects of alcohol doesn’t change the fact that you have the same amount of alcohol in your body like a person who begins to feel intoxicated after one or two drinks.
Your lack of response to the alcohol may be because of your body’s high tolerance over time to alcohol. Some people are born with high tolerance; while others develop tolerance with regular consumption of alcohol.
When you drink more than the recommended limits by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, you are considered as a “risk drinker”, and therefore have a higher risk of health and social problems related to your alcohol use.
Alcohol can affect different body organs and lead to health concerns. It does this more for women because they have less water in their bodies than men, causing the damage to happen with even less alcohol intake. That’s why the guidelines are different for moderate drinking for women and men.
Drinking alcohol must be within the guidelines of moderate drinking to protect your health in the future.
Even if you don’t notice any negative consequences of drinking, I would strongly encourage you to reduce the amount you drink. Moderate drinking is healthier for your health in the long run, especially because it can protect your liver and other organs from damage.
How To Break The Habit Of Drinking Alcohol Every Evening
- Introduce a new evening routine
- Tell people that you aren’t drinking alcohol every night
- Keep a dry house
- Focus on the benefits of Sobriety
- Address the reasons why you’ve drinking
The Bottom Line
If you’re wondering how to stop drinking wine every night, there are plenty of short, effective steps that can help if you believe you might have a problem with alcohol.
Try the tips mentioned above. If you feel like you need more assistance, online treatment programs can be helpful too.