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  • Writer's pictureAdministration Team

Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

Man drinking alcohol Anchoridge Counselling alcohol abuse stress mental health therapy counselling Kitchener Waterloo Oakville London

When does “having a few drinks” or being a "social drinker" become a problem?

Many people like to unwind with a drink now and then, or have a drink socially when out with friends or family.

Unfortunately, many people grow up in families where they are not taught how to self-regulate their emotions. Instead, they reach for a pick me up, whether that’s food, alcohol, shopping, sex or drugs.

This is a normal human response; we don’t want to suffer, we want to feel better right away. But if your only coping mechanism for a bad day or a stressful situation is alcohol, it may be time to seek support, to learn some other coping strategies.

How do you know whether your drinking might be becoming a problem?

Problematic drinking includes:

  • Having 3 to 4 drinks at once

  • Drinking alone

  • Drinking many times in one week

  • Not remembering what happened when you were drinking (“blackouts”)

Signs that your drinking is becoming a problem:

  • You often end up drinking more than you intended to

  • You’ve tried to cut down on drinking but you’re not able to

  • You spend less time on activities you used to enjoy, and instead, you spend that time drinking

  • The urge to drink reoccupies your mind; you can’t seem to think about anything else

  • Your drinking has led to behaviours that have put yourself or others at risk such as drunk driving or unprotected sex

  • Higher tolerance: you need to drink more than you used to, to get the same effect

  • Once the alcohol wears off you experience withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sweating, insomnia, nausea

Reach out for support. Your therapist will provide a judgement-free space where you can explore triggers for drinking and build a plan to prevent future episodes, including emotional regulation strategies and building a support system and self care plan.

At Anchoridge we have several clinicians who specialize in addictions, but there are also many community resources as well:

Across Ontario:

ConnexOntario: 1-866-531-2600

  • Drug and Alcohol Helpline: 1-800-565-8603.

  • Breaking Free: online program for substance abuse

Kitchener/Waterloo Region:

Oakville/Halton Region:

London region:

Take the first step by booking your intake call today.

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