A social drinker is an individual who adheres to moderate drinking guidelines and does not experience any adverse outcomes as a result of their alcohol intake.
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The social drinker meaning varies according to cultural norms and expectations.
In the United States, social drinking involves just one or two standard drinks, typically to celebrate a special occasion.
To drink socially is to consume alcohol within safe recommended limits – you can check guidelines from NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) right here. Additionally, a social drinker will not experience the negative consequences of alcohol use in the short-term. Any long-term use of alcohol is inadvisable.
The other important qualifier for a social drinker is that the person does not drink alcohol to the point of intoxication.
Some common characteristics of social drinkers are as follows:
In some cultures where heavy drinking is normalized or even celebrated, the definition of social drinking often encompasses using alcohol to self-medicate feelings of stress or depression.
While you are unlikely to come to immediate harm if you are a social drinker, the less alcohol you consume, the better. Beyond this, social drinking can lead to other patterns of alcohol consumption that are much more damaging.
f social drinking develops into any of the following patterns of alcohol consumption, it can trigger potentially damaging consequences:
Social drinking can become problematic if a person drinks more alcohol than is considered socially acceptable – becoming intoxicated, for instance.
The following signs are indicators that a drinking problem is developing, potentially leading to alcohol use disorder:
Many of the above signs are also symptoms of alcohol use disorder. By this stage, you have strayed beyond social drinking. While there is no cure for alcohol use disorder, it typically responds favorably to a combination of MAT (medication-assisted treatment) and behavioral interventions like psychotherapy and counseling.
If your alcohol consumption is starting to cause problems in your personal and professional life, it could be time to reach out for help.
Alcohol use disorder (the clinical term for alcoholism) is a chronic and progressive brain disease. The sooner you take action and engage with treatment, the easier it will be to tackle the problem.
At California Detox, we can help make the withdrawal process as smooth and safe as possible. From there, you can go through our treatment programming, including inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab near you so you can build the firmest foundation for ongoing sobriety.
For more details and immediate help, call our team.