3 signs you have a problem with alcohol

alcohol-hangover-event-death-52507Your drinking has hurt you or someone you loved physically or emotionally

The stereotypical drunk person can barely stand, has trouble speaking and should NOT be driving a car. Alcohol impairs motor function causing drinkers to lose their balance, and have issues performing simple tasks. If you’re the type of person that has fallen, been in a car accident, or struck someone while under the influence of alcohol, it may be a clear sign that you have a problem.

Additionally, lashing out or getting in to a mentally or emotionally stressful situations with loved ones can be a sign that you no longer have control of your drinking. Impaired judgement is another symptom of alcohol intoxication. Making bad decisions, saying hurtful words and increased stress and anxiety while drunk are all signs that problematic drinking.

Drinking has costs you more than you can afford

We all know drinking can be expensive but putting your enjoyment before rent/mortgage payments is a major red flag. Again, impaired judgement is a sign of intoxication so if you’ve ever spent come home from a night out with an empty wallet it’s a very bad sign.

Additionally, a hangover is a given when celebrating with alcohol but losing jobs, friends, missing special events, or losing possessions like wedding rings is a very clear sign that your drinking is out of control. Sacrificing money, possessions and relationships with friends and family is not a good tradeoff for alcohol

You wish you could quit drinking

Drinking can be fun, and we’ve all likely wished we were having a drink instead of at work. However, if you’ve ever been drunk and simply thought “I wish I could stop” it’s a very clear indication that you should take steps to curb your drinking or stop all together.

Not everyone will come to this point in their life, but if you’re like me and one day wished you could stop, then you should try! Why would you continue to do something if there is even a small part of your brain that is wishing you would stop?

The lucky part is that you don’t need to wish! You don’t need a genie in a bottle or a shooting star to use magic to stop you from drinking. There are number of stop drinking programs you can use, books to read, support groups to attend and more. No wishes or magic needed!

If you would like to learn more about my journey to sobriety, you can read more blog posts at stopdrinking.solutions

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What is Alcohol Doing to Your Body?

Alcohol is a potent central nervous system depressant with a wide range of effects. The amount you consume effects how drunk you will get.

The effects of alcohol change over time. When you first start drinking. You may feel relaxed. But the more you drink, the more side effects you begin to feel, like blurred vision and slurred speech.

Euphoria is an effect that alcohol has on people. Essentially, getting the euphoric effect means you will feel an overall mood improvement. You may be more self-confident when drinking. Your attention span shortens and you may feel more flushed. Whether your believe it or now, your judgment won’t be as good as you think it is and you may well say the first thing that comes to mind or do things that you would not normally do. You will also start to have trouble with fine movements such as signing their name. With more alcohol, lethargy may start to set in. Lethargy is the side effect where you may become sleepy. You have trouble remembering things that happened, even recent things you have done. Body movements are uncoordinated and you may react to situations more slowly. Your vision becomes blurry and they have trouble seeing.

Confusion is also caused by drinking. You may get confused and very emotional, less likely to respond to pain. If you get in a fight while you are drunk, you will not feel the pain until the alcohol wears off.

Stupor is another short term effect of alcohol. In this condition movement is seriously impaired and you may lapse in and out of consciousness. You can slip into a coma and become completely unaware of your surroundings. At this point, the risk to the body is very high due to alcohol poisoning. Loss of body functions can begin like losing control of the bladder, breathing and heart rate.

Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to coma and even death. If you want to avoid these risks, the best way to do it is to avoid alcohol. You can start being effected by alcohol from the very first sip, whether you realize it or not.

Excessive doses of alcohol can cause long term as well as short-term side effects. Some of the long term effects are: slowing, blurred vision, vertigo, amnesia, ataxia, and hangovers.

The liver is part of the body’s filtration system. This means when it is damaged it allows certain toxins to build up, leading to symptoms of Jaundice. This is what you are seeing when a person’s skin begins to turn yellow.

Many people don’t think of alcohol as a drug but the fact is that it is a drug. It is just as lethal as any other drug can be. When you overuse any drug you can expect consequences. This is also true with alcohol. Many people think that it is okay to have a beer once in a while or that if you drink at home you won’t be hurting anyone.

Think again. You are hurting yourself and by hurting yourself you are hurting the ones that care about you. Whether you drink some at home or at a bar, alcohol can have the same effect on you. One sip and the process begins.

Find Out More:

In order to start making changes with your relationship with alcohol please visit the Alcohol Free Social Life website where you will learn specific techniques and examples of how to make changes now:


So You’ve Decided to Quit Drinking | Stop Drinking Solutions

So you want to stop drinking alcohol.

Every January 1st, people wake up at noon to enjoy the New Year’s very first hangover and swear they will give-up drinking as a New Year’s Resolution. They might make it until the weekend, they might even make it until February, but a lot of us have tried to quit and failed.  Continue reading “So You’ve Decided to Quit Drinking | Stop Drinking Solutions”

Surviving the Weekend | Stop Drinking Solutions

Weekends are rough. Especially when you first decide that you want to quit drinking, you have to think about how you are going to fill your weekend. Your friends are going to a Craft Beer Festival both days and you forgot you had a ticket. It cost $50 bucks per day and everyone is excited for a big party weekend.  Continue reading “Surviving the Weekend | Stop Drinking Solutions”

Stop Drinking with Alcoholics Anonymous | Stop Drinking Solutions

Ive said before; Im not a Doctor or Mental Health Professional. I am unqualified to give expert advice, but I hope my ramblings and navel gazing can offer you some help and inspiration to take a step in the right direction. I hope that step will be towards taking control of your vices, and making your life better, but thats up to you. 

One thing that still baffles me is the complexity of recovery. The different treatment centres, 12-step programs, and books and the sort can be overwhelming. To make things worse, most outlets for recovery are for those who are at rock bottom, or who can afford to pay to be in a private recovery centre.  Continue reading “Stop Drinking with Alcoholics Anonymous | Stop Drinking Solutions”

Why is it so hard to quit drinking? | Stop Drinking Solutions

Wow, Ive been getting some great feedback on this blog and heres the first bit of reader email.

Why the hell is this so hard?


Actually lets start this way. Hey, we barely know each other but I’ve enjoyed your work in other avenues, and now here we are, talking about the realest shit there is, because alcohol is something that unites us all, in some weird way. Ive had my ups and downs with it but always felt like I kept it under control. I had one episode years ago where I threw up on myself and got tossed at last call because I was celebrating a pay raise at work (ughthe worst night), but since then, I never got behind the wheel drunk and I rarely did/said anything while under the influence that I ended up regretting.

My thing with alcohol was (well, IS) that it ends up amplifying whatever sad shit might be rolling around in my head at any given time. I cant even pinpoint how it started, but Id gotten awfully comfortable with drinking 2-4 beers and/or a couple glasses of bourbon pretty much every single day (what am I saying pretty muchit was every single day) after work. That time between 5-9 p.m. Its my time to drink. While I was drinkingman, I cant even tell you so good. No other way to say it, I LOVE good beer and bourbon. But toward the tail end of every evening, Id just feel like total shit self-pity, self-doubt, self-loathing, the whole deal. No real reason my life is pretty great. Alcohol just makes me negatively introspective. Id wake up the next morning feelingeh, semi-OK, but never good. Never great. Justdrinking to drink. Every day. One, then another, then another. 

Then, a little more than a week ago, I decided Thats enough. Just got sick of it. I still want (nay, crave) a cold beer when I walk in the door after work, but I just pour a big ginger ale instead. Working so far. Ive knocked out a few weeks here and there sober, but always got roped back into it at a social engagement or whatever. Always think I can just have one at dinner and sometimes, I can! But the next day, lets have two. Then its the weekend, and hell, its noon, I can have one with lunchwhy stop nowthe game is almost onand there is still five in the fridge

You know how it goes.

So Im feeling great right now. Sharp, focused, energized, 5 pounds lighter. All good. And your blog posts have been helpful, so please know that. And I appreciate you giving me your email to vent all this also super helpful. Youre an A+ dude and Im here for you to talk through all this (and anything else you wanna talk about). Thanks again.

My Response:

Thats a pretty normal reaction for sure. The habitual drinking becomes common place before you notice, and then it slowly starts to wear you down. I remember thinking How does Don Draper do it? and then I have to remind myself that hes a character on a television show.

The social engagement thing is hard. Once you quit drinking you might start to realize how many free drinks float around, and/or how many situations where people expect you to drink. You tend to stick out like a sore thumb if you dont have a drink in your hand, and people tend to treat you with kid-gloves because they think you are broken. Its sick, and Ive skipped more than one social engagement because I didnt want to deal with crap.

Its hard for so many reasons, Im only starting to see how theyve creeped in to my life. My dad drank after work, especially while watching sports and I think I picked that up from him. That, and all the alcohol culture on television and in movies was a huge thing for me. Its still a trigger when I see some characters on television getting hammered and I want nothing more than to pound some liquor and get sloppy (its a very short window of deep desire, but its followed by some longing).

I think its also hard because of the age we live in. I dont know much about you, but if youre around my age and in my demographic youre likely underemployed and over educated. Sometimes we see where were at and think This is it, tomorrows going to be the same day as today. We long for more, but it seems impossible to change our life in a way thats meaningful (for any number of reasons). That feeling of gentle hopelessness makes booze a very attractive option.

You can turn off your brain, shake up your attitude and give yourself a kick in the pants with a stiff drink. After all these years of equating alcohol with good times, it feels great to have a drink after work. Its that climax at the end of the masturbation that is your day job. However, the pavlovian trigger of drinking doesnt really give you pleasure it just numbs you until you feel comfortable in your skin. Thats all fine and dandy after an especially hard day at work, or during a celebration but for people like us it becomes a habit that eventually numbs us to the point of depression.

Thats why its so hard, and it sucks because the hardest part isnt NOT DRINKING, its unplugging your brain from the triggers that make you want to drink. Some people need to uncover some childhood trauma to help them out, some people need to forgive themselves for something they did, I think people like us need to add more value to our lives in order to make it worth living without the constant burden of alcohol. Once were amazing people with too little free time to be boozing, we wont want to spend our evenings in a melancholy state of numbed bliss.

Thanks for reading this post. Check out the first post, and the About Page for more info on what this is all about. My advice and anecdotes are to be taken as entertainment and for inspirational purposes (definition: I’m NOT a doctor or addictions professional). If you think you have a serious drinking problem please visit a doctor. If you’re worried about telling a family doctor, you can always try a walk-in clinic or try this resource for help with substance abuse in Canada.

You should also check out the great Stop Drinking Subreddit (Im not affiliated with it, I just find it to be a great resource).

Committing to Your Goal | Stop Drinking Solutions

Quitting alcohol is tough for a number of reasons. Physically, emotionally and even culturally there can be pressures to pick up a drink. A user I follow on Twitter mentioned that alcohol helps them fall asleep. I was the same way, and found that getting to sleep those first few nights was very hard and staying asleep was even harder.  Continue reading “Committing to Your Goal | Stop Drinking Solutions”

Stop Drinking with Support | Stop Drinking Solutions

I stopped by the StopDrinking Subreddit this morning and I noticed more than a few posts about relapsing. So far there have been 2 weekends this year, and for a lot of people the weekend is just a relapse waiting to happen. For most of my adult life, the weekend is when I got drunk. I allowed myself to indulge because I didnt have a lot to do on the weekends.

Even in situations where I DID have a lot to do during the weekend, it was hard to resist weekend drinking binges. Everyone else is out partying, all your friends are at the bar, house parties a-plenty, and even beers during Sunday afternoon football all made booze the drink of choice for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

While the support of your friends and family is not a golden ticket to sobriety, it can be the difference between recovery and a quick stint of white-knuckle sobriety. Here are some tips for getting support, and some situations to avoid: 

Tell someone you can trust & rely on: Even if youre only quitting for a month, its probably a good idea to tell someone you trust. This will help you be accountable, because now that the cat is out of the bag, they are going to ask you about it later. You dont want to disappoint that person do you?

Bonus points if you tell someone you regularly spend time with. If youre about to head to a pub with a group of friends, having even ONE person who has your back is going to be extremely helpful.  Then again, if that person gets wasted its going to be hard to stay on the straight and narrow.

Go to a meeting: even if youre not ready to join AA or try the SMART program, consider attending an open meeting. Open meeting are for anyone who has a desire to quit drinking, and are a good place to talk about your problems. Even if you dont say anything, listening can be extremely helpful.

Hearing about how others have struggled and succeeded is extremely therapeutic. Knowing that youre not the only one who suffers eases the pain, and can take the weight off of your shoulders. You may also learn a thing or two about how to control your cravings and deal with the pressures of life WITHOUT alcohol.

Situations to avoid: Personally I like to avoid any situation where drinking alcohol is the main event. If youre having a beer pong tournament, Im going to pass. Heading to a wine tasting? Yeah, Im not sure why you think Id enjoy that. Your Facebook event mentions getting Good and Shittered? Maybe youre not such a good influence on me.

I think you get the idea. Stopping is hard enough, so when youre trying to avoid the urge to drink its not smart to put yourself in the line of fire. Even if your willpower is rock solid, the endless questions about why you arent drinking can be infuriating. (Youll begin to realize that a lot of drinkers are uncomfortable having sober people around because it makes them self conscious about their own choices).

To stay on theme, find some friends who drink less, and spend a weekend with them. Stay within your comfort zone (your first go at salsa dancing might not be a good place to start) and you might find that you have a great evening and not even think about alcohol once.

Being left to your own devices. Playing the hermit card and hiding away from the temptations of booze will definitely help you get through the weekend, but hiding from your problems isnt the same as recovery. Eventually youll need to emerge back into normal life, or you might get cabin fever. It might work the first couple of weekends, but being left alone with nothing to do might make drinking that much more appealing.

If youre anything like me, alcohol was a great way to make anything boring into something fun. Bad movies, bad dates, bad food, bad mood, add alcohol and its instantly better (until its not). Being bored and without any outlet is going to make alcohol a very tempting outlet for your frustration.

I suggest planning the evening so youre not alone, or at least youve got something to distract you. You cant sleep the entire weekend away, but physical activities that can really help you forget about alcohol AND make you so tuckered out that youll be in bed before your boozey friends are done predrinking. These include working out at the gym, going for a really long walk (bring your camera for extra fun), pick-up sports (at your local gym or rec/community centre), and physical labour (build/fix that thing that you keep talking about).

Striking the balance between avoiding alcohol, and teaching yourself to have fun without alcohol is going to give you the best results. Having fun while surrounded by temptation and secluding yourself for temptation to the point of extreme boredom are two surefire ways to flirt with relapse.

Take it one step at a time, get some support from someone you trust and focus on the betterment of tomorrow instead of the crappiness of today. Good luck & stay strong friends!

Thanks for reading this post. Check out the first post, and the About Page for more info on what this is all about. My advice and anecdotes are to be taken as entertainment and for inspirational purposes (definition: I am NOT a doctor or addictions professional). If you think you have a serious drinking problem please visit a doctor. If you’re worried about telling a family doctor, you can always try a walk-in clinic or try this resource for help with substance abuse in Canada.

You should also check out the great Stop Drinking Subreddit (I’m not affiliated with it, I just find it to be a great resource).