14 Dec 2021

There is no correct answer for ‘how much is too much alcohol?’ It is up to the individual how much they drink and how much they can handle. However, according to the NHS it is recommended that men and women do not exceed 14 units of alcohol per week. This equates to six pints of beer or four small glasses of wine. Many people often exceed this limit. This doesn't mean that you are an alcoholic but It might be worth questioning your drinking if you notice behaviour patterns emerging or realise that you are relying on alcohol in your day-to-day life.

When your drinking starts to affect your life, this is when it could be too much. If the bills aren’t being paid, if you’re calling in sick to work, if your children are getting angry or upset with you, relationships might be breaking down and your health starts to suffer.

It is when all the things around you start to break down and deteriorate. This might be a sign that you are drinking too much and may need to seek help.

Are there any big red flags?

When assessing if someone is drinking too much, it is often recognised through their physical care. Have they gained or lost weight? Are they clean and showering?

You might possibly notice something might not be right when you walk into someone’s home. You can see if it’s a healthy home or not. For example, the curtains might be closed in the daytime, there might not be any food in the fridge.

As well as this, you may be able to spot relationship breakdowns. Again, as mentioned above they might stop going to work. Or you might notice they’re drinking and driving.

As the Christmas season is approaching, is drinking a lot acceptable?

If you don’t have a problem with alcohol, it is more than okay to go out and celebrate at Christmas time. Many people can go out and get extremely drunk and it not have a big impact on their life and behaviours. It is important to be careful when drinking and making sure you have a plan. For example, pre-planning how you will get home after a night out.

Being a heavy drinker is different to having an alcohol addiction. It becomes a problem when it starts to have an impact on your daily activity. If you are worried about you or a loved one’s drinking then don’t hesitate to contact our team. There are here to give you help and advice. You don’t have to commit to anything. It is purely a chat about any questions or queries you might be having and directing you to the help you might need.

What’s classed as binge drinking?

Binge drinking is when someone consumes a lot of alcohol at once. For example, someone might finish work on a Friday and pick up multiple bottles of wine on the way home, they then might continue to drink throughout the whole weekend excessively. Then go back to work on Monday. This cycle might happen every weekend.

It is ultimately when you are drinking non-stop for a period of time. Sometimes with no food during the binge and no form of normality in that drinking session.

Are people who binge drink alcoholics?

Binge drinking, although not necessarily a healthy behaviour, doesn’t mean that, that person is an alcoholic. Sometimes binge drinking triggers behaviours and if the individual is an alcoholic the binge drinking which might happen at the weekend will extend to more and more time. It will start to consume the individual’s life.

Sometimes binge drinkers do become alcoholics but not all alcoholics are binge drinkers. It is also possible to be a binge drinker and not an alcoholic.

How to approach someone who may be drinking too much?

If you are concerned about someone or notice their drinking has increased or there’s a problem arising, just approach the individual with care and concern. For example, an easy approach is to just ask the person if everything’s alright.

You might find that the individual will come up with excuses as to why their behaviour might have changed. More often than not, those struggling with an addiction will deny or attempt to justify and defend their using. Until the person is ready for help and support, they may not let you in but once they’re ready, they may want to talk.

How we can help

If you are worried about your drinking habits or concerned about a loved ones drinking, call our team now. They are here to offer support and guidance to get you the help you may need.