Most people who consume alcohol don't have any problem with it. However, if a problem does occur, usually the problems begin to get worse. For most, the problem just continually progresses.
Here we're going to take a look at a few different categories of people who drink. Of course another category that we won't mention is people who are actually abstinent. I've been an addictions therapist for years, and I still believe that if you want to avoid alcohol problems, you shouldn't drink it. Of course I know that not everyone will find that abstinence works for them, so it's important that people know what to look out for if there is a problem.
A person that happens to drink on occasion is a social drinker. When they drink, there are not bad consequences or problems that occur. If they have a drink, they don't have any surprises. Friends don't complain about their behavior. They don't end up with mood swings, and they don't start nasty fights.
Usually a social drinker really doesn't think to much about having a drink. Alcohol isn't constantly on their mind. Also, they don't end up losing control or have to come up with a limit because it doesn't go any further than having a drink socially once in awhile.
Someone who happens to go too far with alcohol from time to time is an alcohol abuser. This can happen every once in awhile or all the time. Maybe they drink before they drive or in other hazardous situations. People who end up with DUIs usually are alcohol abusers. Eventually they begin letting home relationships and work obligations fall by the wayside.
Thoughts of alcohol begin to come in more and more. They begin to think about it all the time and how they want the effects of the alcohol. Family members may complain a bit, but usually they deal with it. Now people have to start setting limits on how much they drink, but usually they do maintain those limits. While they are more than just a social drinker, they may not be quite out of control yet.
Alcoholics - The Addict
Many people are surprised to find that becoming an addict to alcohol doesn't rely on how often or how much alcohol you drink. Some people that drink each day may not be an addict. Drinking several beers as opposed to a couple doesn't mean someone is an addict. Usually people who are addicted show that they can't set limits or control their drinking. Drinking takes up more of their time, and they often drink more. They may have an increased tolerance and if they don't drink they may have some symptoms of withdrawal.
People at this point my want to quit. However, they may not be able to succeed. Often they go on using alcohol even though they are dealing with bad consequences and problems in their lives. This could include drinking when it is causing health problem or continuing to get DUIs. They begin to give up roles and activities that are important and alcohol is more important than the ones they love.
Since most alcoholics go into isolation, the family and friends end up being pushed away by them. However, during this phase people deny that they have a problem. Usually they really can't see what problems are resulting because of their use of alcohol.
Hopefully you'll now be able to realize the differences in different behaviors when drinking. If you know someone going along this course or you are going along this course, get help.