Alcohol may seem like a good way to take the edge off during the COVID-19 pandemic but are you drinking too much? The stark realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and alcohol addiction have raised many questions about alcohol intake. It is no longer news that the coronavirus is sweeping across countries, forcing lockdowns and quarantine procedures to reduce the spread. In times like this, it is normal to experience feelings of anxiety, stress and uncertainty.
The reason why it is important to know if you are drinking too much is that alcohol is a coping mechanism for most people. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, statistics have shown that over 55% of people drink alcohol to “cope”. This means that alcohol is the go-to for unwinding after a long day at work. Better still, most people’s definition of “me-time” involves a glass or two of alcohol.
The question of whether you may be drinking too much alcohol is important due to the influx of “booze-soaked” posts on social media. A good number of posts online now follow a certain theme — people in robes with a glass of wine and memes about heavy alcohol intake. Typically, we base our social interactions around the presence of alcohol. Meetings with friends, work meet-ups and dates all involve some level of alcohol intake. As such, it is only normal to want to hold on to a standard social ritual when everything else seems uncertain.
However, even social rituals can be overdone. This is why it is essential to know if you are drinking too much alcohol during this period. As alcohol addiction experts, we recognize the signs that you may be taking one too many glasses of wine. In this article, we will discuss how to tell that alcohol is becoming a bigger part of your life than it should.
Related article: How to Know if Alcohol Abuse is Already a Problem
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?
If you are having doubts about whether you are drinking too much alcohol, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate things. With increased feelings of anxiety and stress as a result of COVID-19, alcohol intake has increased in Canada. According to new data, alcohol sales have increased considerably compared to last year’s number. So what level of alcohol is too much?
Typically, excessive drinking is a situation where a person partakes in heavy drinking on a regular basis. Several drinks over a twenty-four hour period can be defined as too much alcohol. For men, this usually means more than five drinks on just a solitary occasion. For women, that number is about four drinks in a single sitting.
Typically, you can also measure how much alcohol you have over the course of a week. For men, ten drinks or more in a week can be classified as too much alcohol. For women, over 8 drinks in a week may be deemed excessive.
However, despite these numbers, it may still prove difficult to determine whether you are drinking too much alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since everybody is staying at home every day, it is possible for the numbers and days to blur into one. However, there are signs that can show you that you are taking too much alcohol. In the next section, we will explain these telltale signs in detail.
How To Know That You Are Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Preventing alcohol addiction is much better than having to undergo treatment. Not to mention that it is significantly less cheap. Here are a few ways to tell if that extra drink is becoming one too many.
You Set Drinking Limits But Can’t Stick to Them
If you are not struggling with addiction, a drink now and again during the COVID-19 lockdown is acceptable. However, a sure sign that your alcohol intake levels may require addiction treatment is that you are constantly going over your self-determined limit.
Everybody has a limit on alcohol intake. For some people, it is 2 drinks. For others, 3 drinks may be the self-appointed limit. However, if you find yourself drinking over the limit, it’s a sign that you may be losing control. With the stay at home rules, it may look like there is nothing else to do. However, it doesn’t mean that you should go over the limit. Instead, try occupying yourself with a book, a television show or even gaming sessions.
Comments from Friends and Family
Most times, we do not realize that we are drinking too much alcohol. As such, addiction treatment services are not sought early enough. However, those close to you are usually the first to know that you are drinking too much. During this COVID-19 period, your housemates and people you are in contact with maybe indirectly showing you that you are drinking too much.
If you are getting a lot of surprise with respect to how much you are drinking, it may be a sign that you are spiralling out of control. Additionally, you may have to reduce your intake if you are getting comments about how well you handle your alcohol. Alcohol should not be handled, instead, it should be enjoyed with limits.
Your Stay at Home Plans Involve Alcohol
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting a lot of industries, events and activities. Some addiction services centres in Toronto are closing, the malls are closed and there are no movies in the cinema. As such, the only plans that can be made revolve around entertainment and productivity tasks that can be done from home.
However, these plans are not supposed to involve alcohol every time. You are not supposed to finish a television series and a bottle of wine at the same time. In the same vein, a Zoom call with friends shouldn’t always involve a glass of wine.
Are you wondering whether you are drinking too much alcohol during the lockdown? Examine your daily activities, if alcohol always seems to be a part, then you may be overdoing it.
You Wake Up with a Hangover Frequently
Even if you only drink once in a while, it’s normal to get the occasional hangover. A hangover every few months is not a sign that you need addiction services in Toronto. However, you may be drinking too much alcohol if you are waking up with a hangover 4-5 times every week.
Sure, the COVID-19 pandemic may mean that you don’t have to go into work the very next day. However, that doesn’t mean that you should wake up with a hangover every other day. If this is the case, then you may need to seek help from an addiction treatment centre in Toronto.
Other signs that you may be drinking too much alcohol include:
- Gaps in your memory
- A hazy recollection of recent events
- Drinking alone all the time
- Neglecting responsibilities as a result of alcohol
- Anxiety and withdrawal symptoms when the alcohol wears off
Related article: What to Know About Alcohol Detox Programs
What To Do If You Are Drinking Too Much Alcohol
If you find that you are drinking too much alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic, the first step is to seek expert help. Despite the lockdown, addiction services in Toronto are still open.
Here at Addiction Rehab Toronto, we have many years of experience dealing with different levels of excessive alcoholism. Do you have any questions about your alcohol intake levels? Perhaps you want to start a program for alcohol addiction treatment in Toronto. Speak to our experts today!
Related article: Best Alcohol Addiction Treatments