We know so much more about addiction than we did a hundred years ago and yet still it remains, in part, shrouded in mystery, with conflicting reports as to whether its basis is genetic or environmental (or a bit of both). For some, understanding addiction and where it comes from is unimportant – all our energies, they feel, should be directed towards treating and eliminating it. Others are interested in learning more about the fine line that divides moderation and excess. It’s something worth chatting about the next time you’re having gay massage. Let’s take a closer look at that last point. Just when does normal social drinking change into problem drinking? Without using any loaded terms (e.g. ‘alcoholic’, ‘addict’, ‘wino’, ‘dipsomaniac’), it’s probably safe to say that most people regard themselves as ‘social drinkers’. They can enjoy a glass of wine or two with friends over a meal or have a few drinks when they’re out in a bar in the evening. But it’s highly unlikely that they’ll ever drink on their own at home. It simply wouldn’t occur to them. There may be the odd day that’s an exception; perhaps a particularly heavy work day where a stiff drink is called for when they get home. The trouble with the idea of the ‘social drinker’ is that it’s a vague classification. And one person’s ‘social drinking’ could be someone else’s ‘problem drinking’. We all have different constitutions, after all, and different metabolisms, too. And where one person might deal with stress by having a relaxing evening with a couple of drinks, another might choose a soothing, luxurious treatment like gay massage London.

The stages of drinking

Even allowing for variations from one person to the next, social drinking can be said to be a kind of drinking that is moderate, doesn’t interfere with your life and doesn’t diminish your ability to deal with home or work responsibilities. It doesn’t lead to health problems, legal problems or relationships issues. It is not about chasing intoxication.

So what should you look out for if you’re worried that your social drinking (or that of a friend/family member) is crossing the line into heavy drinking? Well, if you’re having more than four drinks a day or more than 15 a week, then that’s one of the first signs (three drinks a day and seven in a week if you’re a woman – that’s not sexism, it’s simply to do with the way male/female bodies differ).

As well as heavy drinking, there’s another category to be watchful for – binge drinking. If you consume more than four drinks in a two-hour time-frame, then you’re binge drinking.

What signs are there that we might have an issue?

But these are far from the only signs to look out for. Are you drinking when you take medication? Feeling pangs of guilt about your drinking? When you try to drinks less, do you fail at it? Do you try to conceal from others how much you drink? Do you sneak extra drinks when you’re out with family/friends? Do you drink at home before you go out drinking with friends? These are all red flags worthy of your attention. It is so much better to intercept problem drinking in its infancy rather than further down the line.

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