Depressed alcoholic with wine

Your problem drinking vulnerability is higher than you think

Are you an achiever over the age of 50 with good income, health and lifestyle? A remarkable new research suggests that you need to seriously consider a vulnerability previously neglected by many. It is the relationship between age around and beyond 50 and a higher risk factor for excessive and problem drinking.
Alcohol use problems are more than often categorized as a hidden problem. This is due to numerous challenges in the identification of problem drinking.
But let’s stop here, what is this problem drinking and then there is another term used i.e. harmful drinking. We are all aware of the term and the illness known as alcoholism. Then what does problem drinking means?
Three decades ago and beyond, experts in the field of addiction/ alcoholism, psychologists and scientists alike, used to believe that there are only two kind of people in the alcohol using community

  1. Alcoholics, who cannot drink safely and in the due course of their illness they sabotage and destroy themselves and their loves ones. This is in addition to the toll their illness takes on social structures as a whole.
  2. The rest of the people who have nothing to worry because their drinking is their own choice and it do not result in damage of any sort.

With the passage of time, research and new scientific evidence suggested things are not as black and white as they were once thought to be. Consumption beyond a particular point is certain to bring a greater risk of problems. How and when someone crosses that fine and invisible line remains unknown but there are a number of visible changes one can notice in this transition, which can be all or many of the following

  • Increasing sense of denial that consuming alcohol leads to problems because they are able to succeed personally and professionally.
  • Driving drunk, not getting into accidents by sheer luck and then boasting about it.
  • Using alcohol as a reward.
  • Using alcohol as a medication for difficult emotional states such as depression, anger and aggression, anxiety etc
  • A chronic pattern of using alcohol to mask the real life issues such as marital problems, financial matters, relationship issues etc instead of learning and practicing life skills to manage life.
  • A sense of guilt and shame for drunken behaviors.
  • A struggle for taking breaks from drinking resulting in failure and increasing consumption after the resumption.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while intoxicated.
  • Social interactions with heavy drinkers.
  • Behaving in ways while intoxicated which is remarkably different from sober personality.
  • Obsessions about alcohol (the next drink, how to get alcohol, possible drinking companions).
  • Repeatedly setting alcohol limits and not being able to adhere to them.
  • Binge drinking.
  • Occasional blackouts.