Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Do you too often wait for the time when you get back home from work, so that you can enjoy your drink? Do you drink occasionally or it is a regular habit that you cannot control drinking alcohol? Well, if you are wondering what exactly are the differences between casual drinking and alcoholism; then you are definitely going to find this post pretty interesting.

Before we talk about the differences between the symptoms of casual drinking and alcoholism, we need to know what casual drinking is and what is alcoholism.

What Is Casual Drinking?

Casual drinking is something when you drink only on special occasion or maybe in a social gathering. There is nothing wrong with a few drinks casually sometimes with friends, maybe wine with dinner. This is pretty normal and many of the people are casual drinkers.

What Is Alcoholism?

The problem begins when you start abusing the alcohol or when you are an alcohol addict or depend upon alcohol to survive. Alcoholism is where the individual has a physical or psychological compulsion to drink alcohol. Here the person drinks alcohol excessively, inspite of the negativeconsequences.

If you find yourself regularly thinking about your next drink, or if you have tried to quit drinking, but could never do so, then you are probably suffering from alcoholism.

Symptoms That Differentiate Between Casual Drinking And Alcoholism:

Drinking To Get Drunk:

In case of casual drinking, the drinkers drink just for fun and that too occasionally. However, in case of alcoholism, alcoholics drink so as to get drunk. Drinking in excess can cause problems with the body. So, in case of alcoholism, people want to get drunk and this means, they can no longer set any boundaries on drinking alcohol.

Neglecting Responsibilties:

Casual drinkers will drink at specific times, when they are generally free so that no important work or responsibility is hampered. They make sure that they do not over-rinkm which ensures that they can attend to the important obligations of their lives.

However, if one starts ignoring these obligations, because of alcohol drinking, they have certainly become alcoholic. In case of alcoholism, the drinkers tend to miss their important works, damage self as well as other people’s lives and miss out other obligations, because they are busy drinking alcohol.

Hiding The Drinking Habits:

In case of casual drinking, people do not have to hide their drinks. They drink occasionally and in a limit. However, when people starts hiding their drinking from those who are close to them, so as to not to alarm or disappoint them, they are into alcoholism.

Taking Risks and Encouraging Legal Problems:

Casual drinking will not get you into legal problems or may not overtempt you to take unwanted risks in life. However, in case of alcoholism, a persom may start taking risks and encouraging legal problems, like, drinking while intoxicated, mixing alcohol with medication, and putting self and other’s lives in danger.

Drinking To De-stress:

Generally casual drinking is not something where the casual drinker drinks to de-stress. It simply is a fun to drink with friends occasionally. Drinking for casual drinkers is not something that they seek to de-stress themselves or when something in life goes very wrong.

However, in case of alcoholism, drinking alcohol becomes a way to de-stress or relax. It becomes a habit of the drinker to drink alcohol every time there comes any stress in life, and that becomes a strong habit that continues for long. In such case the drinker needs the help of alcohol drinking to remain functional, or the person has already developed a dependency on alcohol.

Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms:

Casual drinkers do not suffer from the withdrawal symptoms when they are not drinking or trying to stop drinking. However, in case of alcoholism, the affected person starts experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms like, depression, anxiety and nervousness, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, jumpiness or shakiness, nightmares, and not thinking clearly. In some cases, the individual may experience the most severe form of withdrawal symptoms called delitium tremens; which can cause agitation, fever, confusion, hallucinations and seizures.

Withdrawal symptoms in case of alcoholics can be dangerous, however, a detox program can actually help you move past the negative symptoms safely.

Get Help!

So, now we are aware of the differences between the symptoms of casual drinking and alcoholism. In case you are discovering that you are not just a casual drinker, and if you are facing an alcohol problem, and you actually need to come out of the problem, then you must know more about the facts of alcohol addiction and the treatments for alcoholism. So, you need to talk to your family members or friends and take professional help to come out of yoru drinking problem. Do not feel ashamed, take your step forward to the recovery process and get a life free from alcohol.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 25, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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