Because drinking is perfectly legal and socially acceptable it may sometimes be hard to recognise problem drinking – after all, you probably know many people who drink just as much as you do. And they don’t have a drinking problem. It is not just the amount or the frequency of drinking that determines whether someone has a problem.
It is also not always about losing control over life – many people are still able to fulfil their daily responsibilities but still experience problems with alcohol. Some survive for years as functioning drinkers, but experience shows that once a certain line has been crossed the problem gets worse and never better.
Problem drinking looks different in each person. Some may have the occasional binge but drink excessively every time when in social situations, some might spend their after-work evenings drinking alone at home, some may dedicate all of their time to drinking. Drinking becomes a problem when you realise it's starting to get in the way what is important to you, or becomes necessary.
These are some commonalities that people who drink problematically experience:
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