5 Tips for Assessing Your Relationship with Alcohol
Consuming alcohol is deeply embedded in our culture today. Some people may be able to drink alcohol socially or with minimal impact on their lives. However, some people’s relationship with alcohol can be very complicated.
At SouthLight, we encourage you to assess your relationship with alcohol. Here are a few questions to ask and criteria for diagnosing alcohol use disorders.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Alcohol Use
First, ask yourself:
- What motivates me to drink alcohol?
- How does alcohol add to my life?
- What does alcohol take away from me or cost me?
- How would removing alcohol take away from my life?
- What do I think others would think if I stopped drinking?
These questions are just a starting point and may allow you to further assess how alcohol is impacting your life. Assessing this relationship does not stop here as there is a lot that goes into understanding and treating an alcohol use disorder.
Use These 5 Tips to Assess Your Relationship with Alcohol
The following are five tips if you want to continue assessing your relationship with alcohol, reduce your drinking, or stop altogether:
#1 – Be curious.
Be curious about how alcohol is present in your life and how outside influences impact your thoughts and urges around drinking.
#2 – Keep a journal.
Keep an alcohol use journal to track how much you drink and how you feel before you drink, while you’re drinking, and after you drink.
#3 – Notice patterns.
Notice patterns in what leads you to drink, which could include a certain thought or feeling, setting/place, or person, for example.
#4 – Find alternative coping skills.
Once you recognize your patterns for why you drink, start finding alternative coping skills for those situations. For example: if you notice that you drink out of boredom, what else can you do when you’re bored? Other common triggers for drinking include: loneliness, social tension, or stress.
#5 – Know what to say.
Figure out what you will say if someone asks about not drinking or offers you a drink. Chances are, no one will ask!