8 Signs You Have a Drinking Problem

From someone (attempting) recovery.

Nicole Kenney


Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

March 13, 2023, marked the three-year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. People from all ages and backgrounds had their lives flipped upside down and collectively entered an isolated lifestyle of Zoom calls, whipped coffee, and family walks.

So what did my family and I do during this unpredictable time? We turned to making cocktails and downing wine to cope with the ominous future and sheer boredom.

And we weren’t the only ones. According to the National Institutes of Health, annual alcohol sales increased by 2.9%, the largest sales increase in over 50 years. Even worse, the number of deaths between 2019 to 2020 jumped up to 25.5%.

So, it’s clear that many of us have turned to drinking during this dark time.

While we have since created vaccines and adapted to the new normal to the best of our abilities, the habit of turning to the bottle may not have gone away for everyone.

I’ve noticed over the last few years I have gradually developed a bad habit and dependence on drinking. These are the biggest red flags I noticed that others should look out for in their own lifestyle to see if their drinking has become problematic.

1. Almost always drinking more than intended.

Have you ever told yourself you were only going to have one drink? And then somehow it turned into eight? Someone with a drinking problem never has to consciously moderate their drinking, they just do it.

A “normal” person can have a drink or two with dinner and stop. But when you have a problem, you are consistently telling yourself hours before you’re only going to have one. And almost 100% of the time, it’s a failure.

Whether it’s addiction, a high tolerance, or both, you’re never just going to have one and stop.

2. Tried to reduce/stop drinking on multiple occasions and failed.

I’ve lost count at this point of how many “Day Ones” I’ve had. And I know the whole routine.



Nicole Kenney

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