When most people describe the stereotype of what someone with alcoholism would “look like”, they may include a person going out for drinks a lot with friends, partying often, drinking too much, and getting into legal trouble due to their drinking. While these descriptions could be accurate for some, there is another side of alcoholism that doesn’t get discussed as often: drinking alone. Nearly 13.8 million Americans have a drinking problem; how many people do you imagine drink at home by themselves? The truth is, drinking home alone could be a warning sign of dependence/addiction, or it may not be; it all depends on the drinking pattern.
Imagine this: You’ve had a party at home with several friends over. You’ve been sipping slowly on an alcoholic beverage all night, and by the time your friends go home, you decide to finish your drink. Is this problematic? Not necessary, but do you do this often? How many drinks have you had? What is your reason for continuing to drink after they’ve all left? The following are some concerning reasons for drinking alone:
- You don’t want others to know how much you drink
- You don’t want to hear people “lecturing” you about your drinking
- You don’t want to see the looks of disapproval on people’s faces
- You don’t have any friends to rely on and alcohol is the only thing that makes you feel happier, calmer, more relaxed, etc.
- You feel lonely, unwanted, unappreciated, etc. and gravitate towards alcohol because it seems to solve your problems momentarily
- You drink a lot and often, and you’re drinking alone because nobody else is available to drink with you at the moment
Monitor how often you drink, how much you drink, and why you feel the need to drink. A 2016 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine analyzed 265 patients who reported heavy drinking within the past 3 months and found that 79% of those individuals were self-medicating with alcohol. Self-medication is a term used to describe the action of utilizing a substance in order to help a person cope with an unwanted emotion or situation. Although self-medication may seem to benefit you in the moment, over time it causes many problems which can negatively affect your health, work, home life, and social life, with potential legal consequences as well. If you’ve been struggling with alcoholism, seek the help you need today.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.