We all may have a drink or two occasionally, but for some people, it doesn't stop with “one or two” or “occasionally.” Having the availability of alcohol and the circumstances or occasions in which to consume alcohol can lead to occasional overindulgence. But, even occasional overindulgence is usually not a problem for most people. That is because overindulgence has a kind of “remedy” which discourages further overindulgence: the hangover. For most people, the hangover is painful enough that it discourages immediate or continued instances of overindulgence.




However, for some people, regular drinking sometimes has the insidious effect of becoming an addiction to alcohol. While steady and heavy drinkers are usually aware that they are having a problem with alcohol, that is, it has become more than “social lubrication” and that it has become a regular habit. Nevertheless, often people with incipient or continuing alcohol addiction problems have a kind of built-in defense mechanism that allows them to overlook and ignore the truth about their addiction. Sometimes, people are simply unaware of the time when regular social drinking becomes alcohol addiction.



To help to identify problems of alcohol addiction, there are a number of warning signs to watch for. Be aware that you may addicted to alcohol if you demonstrate any of these behaviors:



  • Do you feel ashamed or guilty about your drinking?

  • Do you hide your drinking habits?

  • Do you lie to others about the regularity of your drinking or drinking habits?

  • Do you drink when alone?

  • Have friends or family members commented on your drinking habits?

  • Have family or friends commented or complained to you about your behavior while drinking?

  • Do you need a drink in order to “take the edge off,” relax, or “even out”?

  • Have you “blacked out” while drinking; do you often “black out” when drinking?

  • Do you forget what you did when you were drinking or immediately afterwards?

  • Do you dread people telling you what you did while you were drinking or afterwards?

  • Do you often think, “I'll just have a couple of drinks,” but often end up drinking more than you intended?



If any of these behaviors sound familiar to you, you probably have some degree of a drinking-alcohol addiction problem.



Psychological counseling can assist in helping you to ameliorate the psychological-social circumstances leading to drinking and help you to create coping mechanisms to the termination of the need or will to drink.