Alcohol is legal for adults to both purchase and consume in most parts of the world. Because it is so common and accepted it can be difficult to know if you have any symptoms of alcoholism. Experts suggest there are key signs to look for.

What is a safe amount of alcohol to drink?

According to official statistics the safe amount of alcohol to drink is no more than 14 units a week, which is equivalent to six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine. This should be spaced out over the week with non- drinking days.

Alcoholism is a progressive illness that has different stages. Even though there are many different names for those stages, let’s keep it simple and say that there are three.

Social drinker

A social drinker will drink with friends on an occasional basis, have a few drinks and go home. They will have control over the amount they consume, not be occupied by thoughts of drinking and not experience any negative consequences. Families will not complain about their drinking and work will not be affected.

Alcohol abuser

Someone who abuses alcohol will experience negative consequences due to their drinking. Family and loved ones will become concerned with their drinking and they will tell themselves that they need to stop but will have trouble in doing so.

They will start to hide how much they are drinking and drink in secret. Alcohol consumption will increase and obsessive thoughts around drinking will be present. Work performance and relationship problems will develop and withdrawal symptoms will occur.


An alcoholic will have reached a stage where they are unable to stop drinking. They will be obsessed with drinking and all areas of their life will be affected.

Relationships and work will be jeopardised and denial may be huge. Withdrawal symptoms could happen a few hours after the last drink and they can be dangerous through seizures or DT’s.

The DSM 5 Manual

The following questions are from the DSM 5 Manual. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose alcohol addiction.
You can run a self-diagnosis to see if you fall into the bracket of alcohol abuse or alcoholic. One sure fire way to know if you have a problem with alcohol is if friends or family are concerned about your drinking. If you then start to hide how much you drink or brush it off, then you may be in denial about your drinking.

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more or longer, than you intended?
  • More than once you wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  • You spend a lot of time drinking or being sick or getting over other after effects?
  • You have wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else?
  • Found that drinking, or being sick from drinking, often interfered with taking care of your home or family or caused job or school problems?
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important, interesting to you or gave you pleasure in order to drink?
  • More than once got into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of being hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem or after had a memory blackout?
  • Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or a seizure? Sensed things that were not there?

If you answer yes to the presence of 4 to 5 symptoms then you fall into the bracket of abusing alcohol. If you answer yes to the presence of 6 or more symptoms then you fall into the alcoholic bracket.

We are a specialised alcohol treatment rehab in Thailand with a programme that has been designed for people with alcohol problems. If you have any questions or you want to start the simple admissions process, then please call our toll free numbers at the top of this page.

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