Is Gray Area Drinking Dangerous?
Maybe you’ve recently heard the term, gray area drinking, and wondered if it’s okay to be in the gray? Anytime we put the words, “okay” and “alcohol” together, I raise an eyebrow.
If you’re asking what the heck is gray area drinking, you can read more here at, What is Gray Area Drinking.
If you’re someone that enjoys bourbon on the rocks or a glass of red Napa Valley Cabernet from time to time, this isn’t for you, at least not yet. But if you’re trying to convince yourself that weekend indulges or daily drinking is justified somehow, keep reading.
Have you been asking yourself why it’s hard to say no to that second, third, or fourth drink? Why others can do it, but not you? Does that automatically make you an alcoholic? Or a gray area drinker? What about a moderate drinker, or social drinker?
The questions are very common and asked by everyone that has an elevated consumption of alcohol.
When does this type of drinking become dangerous? At what point does one cross the chasm into alcoholism or appropriately called, severe alcohol abuse disorder? What’s the magical number of drinks or circumstances one must be in to move into danger?
Gray area drinking absolutely can be dangerous. It is progressive and will get worse if not addressed early. It can also be somewhat of an enigma or hiding behind a veil, so to speak. And because gray area drinkers don’t always experience a rock bottom or life-altering event, they believe they’re fine.
Here are some signs to look for when you’re heading towards danger:
- Mood changes; either heightened anger or depression
- Work performance is affected, even slightly
- Sluggish with lessened energy
- Need more alcohol to achieve the same buzz
- Rarely get sick from drinking (this is due to an increased tolerance)
- Driving while under the influence, even if it’s just one
- Not able to be fully present for loved ones, children, or at work
- Thinking and planning your day around the drinking
- Always having alcohol on hand or at home
- Someone tells you that you’re drinking too much
- When you ask yourself if you have a drinking problem
- Your health starts to be impacted by your drinking
- You’re hiding it from others
- You’re lying to yourself and ignoring it
The above are just a few to be aware of when your drinking becomes dangerous. No amount of alcohol is “safe”, per se, and it can be extremely progressive and dangerous if one ignores the signs.
The reason why the gray area is so deceiving is that the “problems” can be so minor in the beginning and hard to detect. When one is moderate drinking and there haven’t been any devastating altercations, this leads to the false notion that everything is okay. But is it really okay? That’s the magical question.
If you’re wondering if you could be a gray area drinker and have further questions, reach out and let’s have a quick conversation. You can find my calendar here. You can also read a former blog post called, Could You be a Gray Area Drinker?
It’s not a death sentence or anything to be ashamed of, it can happen so easily. Together, we can move you out of the gray and into a life you desperately want and deserve.