What Does ‘Problem Drinker’ Mean?
A considerable amount of people fall under the category of ‘problem drinker’ – but what is this? Finding out can help you better understand your own relationship with alcohol, even if it turns out you are not a problem drinker.
Problem drinker: (an unofficial diagnosis) used to describe people who misuse alcohol but do not actually need any medical treatment, support, or other means of help to stop or change their drinking habits.
Most of the time, having a good enough reason to cut back on the drinking is enough for a problem drinker to realise their habits. Perhaps they have had a particularly embarrassing or frightening experience whilst under the influence that will lead them to change their behaviours.
Does a Problem Drinker Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?
No, a problem drinker does not fall under an AUD. Despite their hardest attempts, someone who struggles with an Alcohol Use Disorder will not be able to cut back or quit their habits – unless they had professional help such as that from alcohol rehab.
The most important reason to understand the difference between a problem drinker or someone with an AUD is knowing if you/they need to seek help. If a mild AUD is left without treatment, there can be short and long term consequences for many aspects of life.
How Much Alcohol is too Much?
To better understand your relationship with alcohol, you should learn how much is too much, and think about how much you drink yourself. Everyone responds to alcohol differently – factors that impact this include your sex, weight and height. Even small things such as what you have eaten that day or how long you’ve slept make a difference.
The guidelines in the UK advise it is safest for men and women to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Regularly exceeding this amount can put you at risk of many short-term and long-term health issues.
How Do I cut Back on my Drinking?
If you’re a problem drinker, it’s ultimately down to you. You’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of your drinking and think about how improving your drinking habits could positively affect your life.
Will cutting back on drinking create noticeable changes to your health, career or relationships? Do you feel like you would end up losing some extra weight, or be more productive on the weekend, and finally save some money? Now think about why you want to continue drinking the way you do – what’s stopping you?