If you or a loved one is concerned about your drinking, you may wonder what the difference of social drinking vs alcoholism is. Since alcohol is widely available at many different social events, such as parties, it can be difficult to understand how social drinking vs alcoholism differs. College campuses many times make alcohol a central roll in socializing. Likewise, many business networking events take place at bars or restaurants that serve alcohol.
The commonality of alcohol’s presence at social functions can muddle the difference between recreational and social use and alcoholism. Many times, drinking at social functions can be an expectation. However, when you are unable to control how much you drink, even at social events where others are drinking, it can be indicative that you suffer from a drinking problem or alcoholism.
Social Drinking Vs Alcoholism
So, what is the difference between social drinking vs alcoholism? While many times people can control their alcohol consumption at social events, you may find it difficult to stop drinking once you start. Social drinking can mean having a drink or two at an event, but you remain otherwise in control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
While alcohol does lower inhibitions, social drinking rarely results in you becoming too intoxicated to drive home or control your actions.
Some signs of alcoholism and alcohol abuse can include:
- Losing control of your actions when intoxicated
- Blacking out or experiencing memory loss when you drink
- Frequently dealing with hangovers
- Experiencing ethanol poisoning
- Regretting things you said or did when drinking
- Feeling guilt or shame about your drinking
- Concealing your alcohol use from friends and family members
Binge drinking, which means having between 4 and 5 drinks within 2 hours, is considered a form of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking, likewise, is not considered social drinking. Social drinking rarely results in having more than one or two drinks per hour.
Some other indications that your drinking is symptomatic of alcohol abuse include dealing with legal problems because of your drinking or an inability to stop drinking without help.
How Alcohol Dependency is Treating
You can find help from an inpatient or outpatient treatment center. Inpatient treatment is highly structured and is the best option if you need intensive treatment or have a severe alcohol dependency. Since alcohol is physically addictive, you can experience potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms when you immediately stop drinking. These symptoms can lead to hallucinations, delirium, seizures and even death.
Outpatient programs are less of a time commitment, typically meeting for several hours at a time throughout the week. Outpatient programs can meet anywhere from 3 days per week to 6 days a week. Peer-led recovery groups can provide you with additional support following discharge from a treatment program. Individual counseling San Antonio TX offers can also be beneficial in treating alcohol dependency.
Final Thoughts and Next Steps
If you or a loved one is struggling with a drinking problem or alcoholism, reaching out for help is the most difficult step. Once you recognize that you need help, finding the right treatment center is paramount. San Antonio Recovery Center, a leader in substance abuse treatment, is here to support you throughout your recovery. Call us today at 866.957.7885 to find out how our programs can help you.