The Definitive Line between Alcoholic and Problem Drinking

One of the hardest parts of recovering from being an alcoholic is how easily available it is to almost everyone. Unlike someone recovering from an addiction to an illegal drug, alcohol is a mainstay at most parties and social events.

Someone who is an alcoholic may even have to distance themselves from their close friends, to have a good chance of becoming sober. Another reason why alcoholism may be so hard to recover from, is that many people drink socially or even on a regular basis, but don’t consider themselves alcoholics.

Whether they are or not can be debatable depending on who you ask However, if someone finds oneself drinking on a daily, or even weekly basis, particularly to the point of being drunk, one should start questioning seriously how important alcohol has become in one’s life

The Different Levels Of Drinking

Since alcohol is legal and a regular social activity, many people do drink on a monthly basis. However, these people are considered social drinkers and not alcoholics. Their life doesn’t revolve around alcohol, and they don’t need alcohol to quell their anxieties or other problems in their life.

The next level of drinkers are those who don’t just have a drink or two socially, but often drink for the express purpose of becoming drunk. Often people who are friends of hazardous drinkers like this either become scared for the person, or tired of the person’s behavior when around alcohol.

When someone becomes a hazardous drinker they drink copious amounts of alcohol and do it to the point where it becomes dangerous. This is the tipping point to when a person either learns to control their drinking or starts descending to the next level of drinking which is problem drinking.

Descending Into Problem Drinking

Problem drinking occurs when a person drinks to the point of damaging either one’s physical health, or relationships with other people, both personal and professional. This is the point where a person has allowed alcohol to start controlling one’s life for the worst.

Long-term problem drinking causes physical deterioration of the liver and nervous system. This will also inevitably affect anyone close to the problem drinker.

Relationships that were once close will become distant, and even a promising or stable career can become derailed become someone has decided that alcohol is the most important thing in one’s life, more important than physical health, personal happiness, or career success. It should also be noted that problem drinkers don’t have to drink to get drunk for it to become a serious issue.

They can drink in small amounts, but on such a frequent basis that it starts becoming a major health issue over a long period of time. Theoretically they could stop, and perhaps have stopped for small periods of time, but inevitably start drinking again unless they become serious about stopping.


The most serious level of drinking is when someone becomes a full-blown alcoholic. Someone who is truly an alcoholic and not just a problem drinker has alcohol as the center of their universe.

This means that a person is probably drinking on a daily basis and has become so physically dependent on alcohol, that one has problems with withdrawal if attempting to stop drinking. Someone who is an alcohol has let their life spiral out of control and needs to get professional help immediately.

The desire to drink is constant and consumes one’s entire existence. Nothing else seems to matter except finding ways to keep drinking and this state is often referred to as hitting rock-bottom. So if someone is only in the problem stages of drinking, they must join Alcohol Rehab Programs to mitigate the issue before it blows up into full-blown alcoholism.