When we think of alcoholism, we usually associate it with an addict who drinks all day everyday. Someone who’s always got a drink in their hand or maybe sits at a bar no matter how early in the day it might be. We might even pass judgement, assuming this person is unreliable and irresponsible, maybe going as far as saying nonfunctional in society.


Of course these are harsh stereotypes and we shouldn’t judge. Especially because that’s not the cookie cutter example of an alcoholic. In fact, alcoholism could affect even the most seemingly functional people. We might know someone who drinks excessively, but because they show up for work everyday without a hangover and achieved a high level of success, we wouldn’t consider them someone who has a problem with alcohol.


You would be surprised to know that “excessive drinking” is considered consuming 4 alcoholic drinks in one occasion and having 8 or more drinks within a week. Drinking this much puts people at higher risk for alcoholism. And even if you do drink excessively, it also doesn’t mean you’re an alcohol dependent either. In fact, 90 percent of people who do drink excessively aren’t considered alcohol dependents.


Even if you’re not an addict, it’s possible you could an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. However, we can’t judge someone’s use strictly based on frequency alone. There are other contributing factors in the way we consume alcohol.


For example:

“How quickly are you drinking? Are you drinking on an empty stomach? Are you drinking before you have to drive or supervise your kids? Did one drink lead to another, which led to another?” And of course, there are situations that make consuming alcohol very unsafe – drinking while you’re pregnant or with medication use.


This is why the term “alcoholism” is recently being replaced by “alcohol use disorder,” which encompasses a wider range of drinking behaviors that are unhealthy. If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol, it’s worth taking a closer look at. Please contact Crownview Medical Group to get in touch with a trained medical professional who specializes in providing advice for your individual needs.