Nobody ever sets out to become an alcoholic. But the fact is that all who drink run the risk of becoming an alcoholic. Some people are genetically predisposed to addiction but for many others, the disease creeps up on them.
You might start out having a few beers with the guys after work. But over time, you might start to notice that you’ve begun adding shots of whiskey and chasing it with beer. You may continue the party well into the evening hours or keep on drinking once you arrive home. Either way, you are drinking far more than you used to.
Should you be concerned?
Perhaps so. There is a fine line between social drinking and alcohol abuse, and you may be on a very slippery slope. It may be time to get a handle on your drinking before it becomes a major problem in your life.
Your health and well-being could be at risk
The effects of alcohol abuse are cumulative in most cases, although binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and even death. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many people who struggle with their drinking will face some or all of these health and social complications as they continue to drink:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Digestive issues
- Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon and breast
- Learning and memory problems, e.g., dementia
- Loss in productivity at work
- Poor school performance
- Family strife
Legal consequences can be steep
Even if you aren’t worried about the health or social consequences of drinking alcohol excessively, you could also face severe penalties if you get arrested for drinking and driving.
With all of the transportation alternatives available to those who consume alcohol — Uber, Lyft, taxis, public transit — there is no reason to climb behind the wheel after you have been drinking.
An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) can cost you your job, your relationships and, in some cases, your freedom. If you get stopped by the police on suspicion of drunk driving, it is prudent to refrain from answering any questions until you are given the opportunity to speak with your criminal defense attorney.