Living through COVID has been stressful for most Americans. Due to increased stress from anxiety, uncertainty, isolation, and grief, many people have increased their alcohol consumption. Also due to these same stressors as well as depression, boredom, and relationship and monetary stress a relapse of previous alcohol abuse could be triggered.
But how do you know when you are drinking too much? One drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men is considered drinking in moderation. Consistently drinking more than these amounts could be considered drinking too much. There are signs to let you know when you may be consuming too much alcohol. First, you may feel that alcohol is interfering with your daily life. You may find yourself spending time thinking about drinking. You could also feel that alcohol is affecting your relationships. Another sign is that alcohol is leading you to make bad choices or engage in dangerous behaviors. Other signs include needing more alcohol to relax and have an increasing need for more alcohol, and you may even experience a blackout. You may experience withdrawal when you don’t drink. Furthermore, you may be drinking too much alcohol if you feel that your drinking is out of control.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, there are several ways to manage excess drinking. One way experts suggest starting to manage drinking would be to keep track of your alcohol intake in the form of a journal or an app such as Drink Control. You might consider setting a number of drinks per day or per week. You could also ask for help from someone you trust to remind you to stay within a drinking limit. You also might try to avoid triggers or situations that make you consume alcohol. However, bear in mind you may experience withdrawal symptoms. In such instances, it is best to seek behavioral health treatment for help in cutting back on alcohol consumption.
AUTHOR: EHAB ABDALLAH, M.D.
Dr. Abdallah obtained his medical degree from Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt. He completed his residency training in psychiatry at West Virginia University. Dr. Abdallah is a triple board-certified in General Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison (Psychosomatic) Psychiatry, and Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Abdallah is experienced in treating psychiatric illness in people with complex medical/mental conditions and is an expert in addiction medicine. He is passionate about quality care.