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Key Signs to Know If your Casual Drinking Is Turning Into an Addiction

This week's blog has been written by Janice Killey. Janice has a wealth of experience and training. She holds a Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Master of Arts (Counselling), Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy (ASH) and is a Registered Psychologist at Psychologists Southern Sydney. She’s also a member of the Australian Psychological Society.


Casually drinking alcohol especially when you hang out with your friends is normal and acceptable in the society nowadays. Conversations will eventually turn into a good stretch once partnered with alcohol.

On the other side of the coin, there are issues revolving around alcoholism – Is your casual drinking turning into an addiction?

In determining whether someone is alcoholic or not, there are a lot of things that should be observed. Some might be in denial and would merely shrug off the issue, thinking that everything is normal.

What are the signs of alcoholism?

Before consulting a physician to know if you or your friends are alcoholic or not, you might want to look deeper into these symptoms first. These will help you answer the question you have in mind.


  1. Neglecting your responsibilities
  • If you forget about your duties the next day after drinking due to a hangover, then you might be alcoholic.
  • Typical scenarios could include you, not being able to focus at work or school or neglecting your family.
  • Assignments and deadlines are kept unaccomplished as you are too focused on your hang over.
  1. Using alcohol in dangerous situations

Most companies do not allow their employees to work whenever they are drunk as this could potentially bring harm to the company and its employees. However, if you are accustomed to working while being intoxicated, this could already mean a red flag to you. Other situations that indicate if you are alcoholic are:

  • Mixing your doctor’s prescribed medicine with alcohol.
  • Prefer driving while intoxicated.

Know that all of these scenarios could put your safety at risk. 

  1. Experiencing repeated legal problems

How many times were you arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol? Was it once or was it more than you can even remember?

  • Being arrested for several times on account of your drinking might also be a symptom of being an alcoholic.
  • In reality, you should be able to become a better person the first time you faced charges.



  1. Continuing to drink even if it causes your problems

Getting drunk with your friends during social events is not a problem, but if it becomes too frequent that your family member or your partner often gets upset about this, then you might have issues. They could be angry with you, being always drunk or because of the behavior you put up whenever you are drunk.

  1. Not being able to limit your drinking

Alcoholics drink too much, reaching the point of intoxication.

  • They cannot seem to control themselves even if they already planned on drinking small amounts only.
  • These people still feel driven to drink more even if they already reached their maximum alcohol intake level.
  1. Thinking about alcohol most of the time

Do you often catch yourself thinking of how, when and where you can drink alcohol? Or even if you are at work or school, do you still think about alcohol?

  • Addiction is the obsession to a drug of choice. In this case, it is alcohol.
  1. Too many unsuccessful attempts to stop drinking

Sure, you may have tried your best to stop drinking. Yet, remained unsuccessful even after countless attempts. If this has been your dilemma for quite some time now, you might be suffering from a severe problem of alcoholism.

  1. Alcohol as a relaxation tool

There are many ways on how you can de-stress from your daily chores. It does not need to be alcohol. You can choose to talk to your friends and family about it. Learn a hobby to take your mind off of things or try out a new sport you can do during your spare time.

  • If you have never considered other options to relieve stress, and choose alcohol even during the smallest inconveniences, you might be an alcoholic.
  1. Alcohol becomes a focal point of your life

Every time you go out with friends or family, you make sure that there will be alcohol. You always include alcohol in your social activity regardless if it is a family day at your child’s school or a reunion with some of your college buddies.

  • Alcohol becomes a negative focal point in your life if you cannot function well or cannot think straight without it.



The signs listed in this article are warning signs that something treacherous is about to affect your health, relationships, and careers.

If you overlook these symptoms, it might turn into a more severe addiction - an addiction which can spiral towards illness and even death. Seeking for professional help is always the best solution to prevent addiction. You do not need to take all of your problems to yourself as there are people who will be willing to help you fight out from it.

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