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Summer Fun – Are You A Casual Drinker or An Alcoholic?

Ah, summertime – the months where we kick back and enjoy the bounty of the great outdoors.  With Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July, county fairs, high school reunions, backyard barbecues, there are endless opportunities to drink alcohol.  With all of the merriment and fun, how do you know if you’re developing an alcohol problem?

Summer Alcohol Publicity is Everywhere

Drinking alcohol is a fairly acceptable way to socialize around the country.  Nobody thinks twice to see beer and burgers every weekend.  Boating with beer, tubing with beer, riding all-terrain-vehicles (ATV’s)with beer, suntanning with fruity bottled drinks, summer restaurants with bars outside, “Margarita Night” at the local bar and grill, commercials with hot sweaty people getting relief with a cold alcoholic beverage.  Who can resist all the fun and refreshment all summer long?

If you notice, I included a few pretty dangerous but common practices done in the summertime.  Water activities and riding ATV’s are someone risky anyway.  Add some drunkenness and you have a big accident waiting to happen.  Reaction times slow with increased alcohol use, judgment is poor, and a person can drown more easily when they are drunk.

Minimizing Danger With Alcohol Is A Sign of Addiction

When someone ignores or minimizes the added risk, that’s a pretty huge red flag.  That’s possibly some addiction thinking at work.  I’m in control, this isn’t really that bad, my wife’s just a worry wart by trying to keep me from doing it.  It’s about the same as driving while intoxicated.  Anyone who does this repeatedly despite the obvious danger and warnings from others might need alcohol treatment to turn this behavior around.  It might be either that or a serious head injury.

When taking in all the parties and summer fun, you need to consider what your goal is when you drink.  That’s right – it might sound strange, but you need to think about this when your mind is clear.  If you are pretty sure your goal is to get drunk, that’s a bad sign.  If you don’t like making a plan but often end up drunk, that can also spell trouble.

This is a much different approach than knowing you’ll have no more than two drinks so you can have fun but also safely drive home a few hours later.  A person who cannot control their drinking or consistently drinks more than they intend needs alcohol rehab or alcohol treatment to help them stop.  Out-of-control drinking is a symptom of alcoholism.

Do You Know Your Alcohol Limits And Ability To Control

So here’s the wrap-up – drinking alcoholic beverages in the summertime is OK as long as you keep the amount small and you don’t put yourself into dangerous situations when you’re intoxicated.  These are not the only signs of possible alcoholism.  But if you can keep these two in mind, you can judge how much control you and your friends really have with alcohol.  Reckless drunk fun can turn into tragedy in just seconds.  Have a safe summer and know your limit.

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