Is Your Wine Habit Becoming An Addiction?
Posted on 09/28/18: Addiction Prevention \ Addiction Recovery
Wine is often thought of as a classy beverage, often enjoyed during a romantic dinner or at the end of a long day. Wine connoisseurs even make a career out of it, becoming sommeliers who specialize in the knowledge, taste, and pairing of the drink. Research has shown that a glass of red wine a day can even benefit your health by lowering risk of heart failure and improving blood pressure. Although it doesn’t fall into the category of hard liquor, wine is considered to be a beverage of medium-alcohol content, ranging from 11.5 to 13.5% by volume. This allows for a nice buzz, even after just one glass. So yes, wine does have its benefits both health-wise and socially. We can all agree that it’s much more acceptable to sip on a glass of wine by yourself than it is to down hard liquor once the clock strikes 5.
But despite all of these aspects, it can be hard to understand the point where a seemingly innocent habit starts to verge on addiction. Now, just because you enjoy a daily glass of wine doesn’t mean that you have a dependence on alcohol. Moderation is not something that addicts tend to practice, as substance abuse problems are all-encompassing and get to a point where they cannot be controlled. Drug and alcohol addiction are all-encompassing, and the impulsivity that comes along with it goes by its own rules. If you can enjoy a single glass nightly and are able to get on with your evening, your behavior is perfectly normal. But if the intention was a single glass, and more often than not you find yourself staring at the bottom of the bottle, your habit is no longer just a casual tendency.
Warning Signs: Your Habit Might Be Escalating
Alcoholism can range anywhere from mild, to moderate, to severe. Addictions can happen overnight, and sometimes the process is gradual. You might open your eyes one day and realize that your behavior might not be as normal, healthy, or acceptable as you once thought. Some initial signs that you may be developing a problem can include:
1. Setting a limit and going past it
You tell yourself you’re only going to have one glass of wine. You make sure to give yourself a generous pour so that you’ll stick to your limit of a ‘single’ glass, but the buzz is nice and what’s the harm in two, right? Two leads to three, and three leads to an empty bottle. If you struggle with sticking to your own guidelines, it might be a good idea to lay off of the beverage altogether. Leave it off of your grocery list if having a bottle in the house can’t be moderated.
2. Telling yourself you’ll drink less often but failing to do so
Are you always looking forward to that wine o’clock? Drinking wine has become a method of medicating against the stressors of life for many women, and when your mind begins to relate stress relief with alcohol, your tendency to drink increases. It might even be subconscious in the beginning stages. But when drinking becomes a daily occurrence, it’s hard to deny (even to yourself) that your habit has become excessive. If you find it difficult to go a few days without alcohol, take a moment to really analyze your behavior. Do you know why you’re drinking? Do you know why you can’t stop drinking?
3. Noticing the way others drink in comparison to your own habits
You’re out at dinner, and you realize your glass of wine seems to be going a little more quickly than those of the people around you. If you find yourself longing for others to finish their glass so you can pour yourself another, it’s time to reevaluate. The slower rate at which others are drinking shouldn’t be an agonizing experience. If you find yourself holding back on your natural behavior, deep down you know this means that your drinking tendencies aren’t acceptable.
4. Normal activities are no longer enjoyable without it
If you can’t attend a dinner or gathering without an alcoholic beverage involved, your habit might be taking a dangerous turn. Sure, a glass of wine at a mixer probably helps take the edge off of socializing with people you don’t know. But being unable to interact with others if you don’t have a buzz going is a huge red flag. Alcohol shouldn’t be a characteristic of your personality. And if it is? Ask yourself why you can’t seem to behave normally without it.
5. Weight Gain
When your body consumes any kind of alcohol, it will metabolize that alcohol before it digests anything else. This means that instead of breaking down the nutrients in that healthy salad you had for lunch, your body will focus on the glass of wine first. To no one’s surprise, wine doesn’t hold all that much nutritional value. In fact, the average bottle of wine has about 635 calories. If you’re drinking multiple glasses to an entire a bottle a day, your caloric intake is taking a major spike. This results in packing on additional pounds, and if you can attribute significant weight gain to your drinking habits, it is highly recommended you cut back: normal drinking habits shouldn’t have a negative effect on your body.
All of the reasons listed above are indications that your daily glass (or glasses) of wine are taking you toward more addictive tendencies. If you can relate to one or more than one of the warning signs above, it is crucial you take a step back and get a hold on your behavior before it progresses to a much more serious addiction. Even if your alcoholism isn’t full-fledged just yet, our counselors and therapists at Sober Living AZ are more than willing to sit down with you and discuss any concerns you may have about your current behavior.
Catching an addiction before it takes over is the best way to guarantee recovery. Don’t downplay your actions: if you need help, ask for it. Sober Living AZ provides a variety of treatments and programs to help with alcohol and drug addiction. Therapy can help you uncover the root cause of your drinking tendencies, and treating any co-occurring conditions will allow you to live a much fuller life.
Sober Living of Arizona provides full inpatient treatment and medical detox to all of those that need it. We also offer family therapy services that include all of those involved in a loved one’s addiction. This service has proven to be beneficial to many, and we highly suggest reaching out sooner than later. Call us today to speak one-on-one with a trained specialist.
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If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact Sober Living of AZ now to get the help you need. Sober Living offers an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare. Call us now at 602-737-2458.