If your friend has a drinking problem, you may be wondering whether or not they have a drinking problem and how severe it is. There is a significant difference between a drinking problem and alcoholism, and to get your friend the correct type of help, you need to know the difference.

Our high-quality treatment facilities are designed to support your loved one through the Impact Wellness Network. If your friend has a drinking problem, we have several supportive treatment facilities designed to support and help them. Contact us today to see how we can help your friend if they have a drinking problem.

What is Problematic Drinking?

Problematic drinking indicates that an individual drinks enough to have serious side effects and a significant impact on their life. A problematic drinker is not an addict. They can stop drinking at any point. Still, they may benefit from seeking therapeutic treatment to help them evaluate the cause of their excessive drinking or help them learn strategies that would help prevent them from excessive drinking in the future.

A problematic drinker may experience problems related to drinking, but typically not to the extent that someone who is struggling with alcohol addiction is. While an individual who is a problem drinker may have developed a tolerance and might need to drink more, they have not developed a dependence and a need to drink alcohol.

What is the Difference Between Problem Drinking and Alcoholism?

There are several differences between problematic drinking and alcoholism. If you are trying to determine whether or not your friend has a drinking problem, you should be aware of them. These differences include the ability to stop, dependence, and overall impact on their life. 

The main difference between being an alcoholic and having a drinking problem is an individual’s ability to stop drinking when they want to. Persons who have a drinking problem are able to stop drinking at any time, while an alcoholic is physically and mentally unable to stop drinking.

The next difference is related to the ability to quit. An alcoholic has developed an alcohol dependence and will be unable to stop drinking without severe physical and mental consequences. An individual who has a drinking problem has not developed a dependence, and while they might suffer a hangover, they will not go through withdrawal like an individual who is addicted.

Finally, the difference between problematic drinking and alcoholism is the overall impact on the person’s life. Every aspect of an alcoholic’s life is impacted by alcohol. Their jobs, relationships, social interactions, and family life are feeling the stress of one person’s drinking. A problematic drinker will have problems and even legal issues, but it may be contained to one aspect of their lives. 

If you are worried about your friend’s drinking, there are some things you can do to support them.

How to Talk to a Friend with a Drinking Problem

According to the NIH, there are several things you can do to support a friend who has a drinking problem. There are three recommended steps; talk, offer your help, and take care of yourself.

Talking is the first recommended step. Individuals who are struggling with a drinking problem may overlook the impact that their drinking has on others and how it is genuinely impacting their lives. The NIH also recommends avoiding labels and talking about the facts, not opinions.

The second step is to offer your help. You can support your friend by taking them to treatment and being supportive during the process. Additionally, you can be supportive by recommending activities and outings that are alcohol-free.

The final recommendation made by the NIH is to take care of yourself. Being honest and speaking with a counselor about the process are two recommendations for maintaining your mental health while supporting a friend. 

Finding Alcohol Rehab Center Near Me

Impact Wellness Network is a group of comprehensive addiction treatment programs across the Midwest. If you want to help get your friend help with a drinking problem, one of our top-rated treatment centers is the place. 

Our addiction and treatment programming is designed to support individuals who need help at every stage of the process. With extensive research and specially designed programs, our clients have the opportunity to access and utilize traditional evidence-based treatment and alternative therapeutic treatment throughout the process.

Contact us today to see how we can support your friend with a drinking problem.

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