Alcohol is one of those things that our culture doesn’t want to demonise. It’s part of our Australian DNA but when does it become a serious problem? When should you worry?

Last year, the Northern Beaches was once again top of the table when it came to drink driving offences. Almost two people are booked every day with a total of 600 offences committed in 2015 and that’s just the people who were caught. We’re a pretty smart bunch of people, why do we keep doing this, putting each other in harm’s way?

It’s a good questions to ask ourselves. So how do you really know if your drinking has gone too far?

Uses for alcohol

Here are some questions to consider – do you use alcohol to:

  • relax?
  • for social courage?
  • to forget difficult experiences/issues?
  • to get through a painful situation?
  • to celebrate?

When is it a problem?

On the surface, we can look at that list of questions and think, “well fair enough!”  but when does it become a problem that we really should address? themindspace Psychologist Greg Powell says,

“Alcohol is a sneaky one.  It really comes down to the reasons that people drink.  If I am drinking purely because I like an occassional drink, generally with friends, and I can enjoy a drink in moderation, then it is probably not a problem.  But if I am honest with myself and I know that I drink to feel brave, to relax, to forget, or to escape, then I need to keep a close eye on myself.  Alcohol is sneaky because it can creep up on you and before you know it, the thing you thought was helping you, is now a problem on its own.”

Help is at hand

If any of these points cause make you concerned for yourself or someone else there’s a range of organisations who are there to help.

More from themindspace:

Do you have a problem with alcohol?

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