Grabbing a glass of wine when you’re feeling exhausted is easy. You may need to calm your nerves before a life-changing presentation, and then you grab one – and another. You already took three glasses in that space, and you feel it’s fine. How much is too much?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, having more than four drinks daily for men is abusive. It’s three for women. Many people who take alcohol believe their consumption is within an acceptable range. This is what we call the grey area of drinking. It’s easy to slip into this fuzzy position, but you could spiral out of control.
It is that foggy space between casual and dangerous drinking. It is the area between extreme consumption and moderate drinking. The grey area is in that spectrum many people consider safe or acceptable. The individual hasn’t reached the rock bottom of alcohol misuse, but their consumption may increase and can begin to affect their lives negatively.
Alcohol, whether in small or large quantities, can harm your health. Though moderate amounts of wine have some cardiovascular benefits, the risks eclipse the gains. Essentially, little may still be too much. While the CDC recommends two drinks for men and one for women, surpassing these limits is easy.
Grey area consumption is challenging to diagnose because everyone defines grey areas differently. Some people feel more comfortable than others after taking some levels of alcohol. Plus, drinkers in this spectrum don’t show any symptoms. Drinkers may struggle to control their alcohol or control more than moderate drinking. However, they don’t fulfill the criteria for severe alcohol addiction.
As mentioned, grey drinking may look different for everyone. However, the following are common signs for grey drinkers;
If you detect any of the above signs, you may be in the grey area. However, if it affects your health and work life, you may need to consult an alcohol addiction specialist.
Grey drinking is a socially acceptable behavior, but it can affect your health and work life. It can negatively affect your friends and family. It is easy to become a grey drinker and even easier to become an addict. When your alcohol consumption level increases, you have a problem. Your drinking may become severe.
There’s a thin line between grey drinking and alcoholism. So transitioning from the former to the latter is so simple. Grey drinking may not be a problem yet, but with increased drinking levels, you could be diagnosed with alcohol use disorder.
Grey drinking can be problematic in the long run. The good news is you can address it via some strategies, which include;
If you’re drinking beyond moderate, ask yourself if the alcohol is serving a function in your life. Perhaps, you’re drinking to relieve anxiety. The bad news is that effort will backfire because the body will adapt to the alcohol. When this happens, you develop a tolerance for it. So understanding the reason behind the drinking is a great start, as it will help you manage the craving.
Grey drinkers aren’t at risk of having symptoms associated with alcohol use disorder. So they are less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. They can abruptly stop drinking without a compulsion to continue. Staying off alcohol may help you realize you’re better off without it.
People drink to socialize, get sleep, or relax. However, you may find that heightened drinking levels may worsen your health and relationships. Take some time off drinking and compare the pros and cons of drinking. If the cons outweigh the benefits, drinking isn’t worth it. You can decide to quit.
The grey area of drinking emerges from the imbalance of brain chemicals. Essentially, the drinking starts from the head. These imbalances lead to deficiencies that are supplemented by alcohol. The lower the brain chemicals, the more the drinking escalates. One of the ways to replenish these depleted chemicals is to recalibrate the brain.
You can do this by replacing drinking with spending more time in nature. Studies show spending time in a largely-dense area of trees can increase serotonin and dopamine levels. These two hormones are responsible for pleasure and happiness. Other activities you can do instead of drinking are eating well and interacting with others in person.
When you develop an inkling that you don’t want to be drinking the way you want, you should seek help. Healthy Pines Recovery is a well-equipped addiction recovery center that can help manage your grey area drinking. We provide various treatment programs to help you from sinking into rock bottom. Contact us today to get started.
The first step can be the hardest. Fill out the form or call us at 720-706-7980. You will be connected with a Healing Pines Recovery specialist who can answer your questions and help you get started.