Alcohol is a very common way of dealing with the stresses and strains of life, there is nothing like a nice glass of wine to help you to relax after a busy day at work or a hectic day with the kids.

However, all too easily that glass of wine can become something we NEED at the end of a busy day rather than something we WANT and sometimes without us realising it, 1 glass has become a bottle (or more).

We don’t need much reminding that too much alcohol is bad for our health, in the short term it can lead to hangovers, insomnia, depression, anxiety and poor decision making. In the longer term in can increase our risk of developing 60 different health problems including strokes and cancer and lead to the breakdown of our relationships. But how do you know when that little treat at the end of a long day has become something that is threatening both your physical and mental health.

Here are the warning signs that your alcohol consumption is heading towards an unhealthy dependency

1. Are you regularly consuming more than the recommended weekly maximum (14 unit for women, 21 units for men)?

2. Do you regularly binge drink (i.e. consume more than 6 units for women and 8 units for men)?

3. Do you struggle to go a day without alcohol?

4. Do you find it hard to socialise (evening or daytime) without alcohol?

5. Do you drink more than you used to?

6. Is the amount of alcohol you are drinking slowly increasing?

7. Do you often drink more than your peers?

8. Have others started to comment on how much you are drinking?

9. Do you find it hard to have just one drink and stop?

10. Have you noticed that the time you start drinking is getting earlier and earlier?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions it is time to take a serious look at how much you are drinking and why. In the next blog I will show you how.

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