Social drinking seems like a pretty benign indulgence. Maybe you go out with friends in North Carolina on Sunday to watch a football game on TV at the local sports bar or watering hole and toss back a few brews. You go out to eat with your spouse and sip a martini or two with dinner. At your office’s holiday get-together, you quaff a cocktail or two or three without any hesitation or worry. After all, everybody does it, so why not?
Well, that depends on a few factors and definitions.
For one thing, the exact meaning of the term “social drinking” isn’t etched in stone. It can be interpreted in widely varying ways by different people. According The Huff Post, “The word ‘social’ can vary from person to person.” One individual might call having three mixed drinks at a party social drinking, while another person may feel that consuming one alcoholic beverage every few days qualifies as social drinking.
Then there is the issue of just how much social drinking is too much. That varies tremendously as well. Perhaps it’s matter of realizing what your limit is. To put it another way, there should be a line between enjoying alcohol responsibly with no adverse consequences and having it get out of control – and it helps to know exactly where that line is and when not to cross it.
Some signs that your social drinking might be getting out of hand
- If the amount of your drinking has frequently exceeded “moderation,” it may be time to cut back.
- “More than four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks in a week for men, and more than three drinks a day or more than seven drinks a week for women” is usually considered “heavy drinking.”
- Hiding the amount you drink from others is often a sign of trouble.
It’s safest not to drink at all if you plan to drive. Making sure that you aren’t impaired by alcohol when you are behind the wheel can prevent you from getting into motor vehicle collisions and legal difficulties.