A weekend alcoholic is a person who typically only drinks on the weekends. However, their weekend drinking is easily characterized as binge drinking, or drinking heavily.
What is an alcoholic? Do alcoholics have jobs? Do alcoholics drink from dawn to dusk? Most alcoholics do have jobs, and unlike the myth, they generally do not drink all day and all night long.
An alcoholic may just start with one drink, and then eventually, it leads to more and more until it becomes out of control. Alcoholism has many variations, including weekend alcoholism. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse here at 1st Step Behavioral Health, we can help.
Drinking too much at the end of the week may stereotypically be seen as a release, but it is harmful to your body. You can experience trouble sleeping. During that little time, consuming a lot of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning or, in some instances, a coma. Prolonged drinking can cause liver problems and other health problems.
With weekend drinking, it is possible to become dependent or addicted. People who drink only on weekends may not find a reason to get the help they need, or they may even deny themselves help and self-care.
Approximately 1/10 of people in the US struggle with alcoholism. About 33% of people across America drink excessively. Many people wonder, when is it still casual and when is too much?
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1. The Inability to Stop After One Drink
One sign you may be a weekend alcoholic is not being able to stop drinking after one drink. Your body starts to crave a second, third, and fourth drink. Some weekend alcoholics do not even realize how much they do drink in such a short period of time. If this is the case for you, it might be wise to take an assessment of your alcohol consumption at this time.
2. Justifying a Reward by Using Alcohol
Another way you may be a weekend alcoholic is by using alcohol as your reward system. We all have occasions to celebrate, whether it is a wedding or a promotion. One way to avoid weekend binge drinking is redirecting your reward to celebrate in a different way. This can include buying yourself something you wanted. Another way you can celebrate is to go to a show or even dinner. Taking a trip would be a big reward to celebrate a huge victory in your life.
3. The Guilt Compounds with Drinking
The feeling of guilt the day after is a sign you could be a weekend alcoholic. Knowing you set a goal to only drink one or two drinks, and then you end up drinking heavily the whole weekend, makes you ashamed. If you are disappointed in yourself for drinking too much, there are ways to combat this. It can be as simple as learning to enjoy your days off without alcoholic beverages.
4. Being Sober vs. Drinking: Do You Act Differently?
If drinking causes you to act differently than you would when you are sober, you may be a weekend alcoholic. If you say or do something you would not normally do, it might be a sign of a problem. If drinking helps you with your shy nature, this could be a sign of a problem. When alcohol helps with stress is another indication of a problem. If alcohol helps you in social situations and with anxiety, this might be an indication of a weekend alcoholic. It may also be an indication of a bigger issue you are trying to self-medicate. When dealing with stress and anxiety, let us here at 1st Step Behavioral Health help you get the help you need.
5. Risking Family and Friends
With weekend binge drinking, you may be risking your relationships. You may be avoiding friends or family due to your drinking. Close family and friends can realize there is a problem. At some point, your relationships will suffer, and you have to decide what is more important to you. Which will you choose your relationships or your weekend binge drinking?
6. Risking Job Goals for Drinking
The fact that you risk your job advancement could be another indication that you are a weekend alcoholic. Weekend binge drinking can cause problems at work. An indication of weekend binging is calling in sick on Mondays. Whether you are calling in sick every once in a while, or every Monday, it will affect your job, and job performance. If you go in on Monday but feel horrible, this too will affect your job and job performance.
7. When Drinking Consumes Your Thoughts
Let’s face it, everyone looks forward to the weekend. Drinking does not have to be a part of that. There is a problem when it consumes your thoughts. When you are looking forward to the weekend to drink can be another indication you are a weekend alcoholic. When the thought of drinking or getting to the weekend to drink consumes you, there is a possibility of a problem.
8. To Maintain a Slight Buzz
When all weekend long, you slowly sip on alcoholic beverages to maintain a slight high is an indication of a weekend alcoholic. Many weekend alcoholics will continuously sip on alcoholic beverages to maintain their buzz. If you are looking at your weekends as an opportunity to drink from the time you wake-up, until bedtime, it is possible you are a weekend alcoholic.
Acceptance of Alcohol and Stereotypes of an Alcoholic
The acceptance of alcohol makes it easier for someone to become a weekend alcoholic. Since alcohol is so socially acceptable, it does take away the stigma of becoming an alcoholic. Alcohol is at every celebration, whether it is a new job or a wedding, alcohol is there to celebrate with you.
Stereotypes also make it harder to determine what is an alcoholic. They are not the bumbling idiots always falling, as seen on T.V. This stereotype makes it a lot harder to assess if someone is an alcoholic or not.
There are people who function quite well while drinking. They are called functioning alcoholics. A functioning alcoholic can hide their weekend binges. These people are good at pulling the wool over their loved one’s eyes and the people who are close to them. They can function at work, and their family lives are doing fine. There is still a reason to be concerned.
A functioning alcoholic can, to their demise, can turn into a non-functioning alcoholic. This can happen gradually. At some point, the weekend alcoholic needs more and more alcohol to get the same pleasure as they did when they first started to drink.
A person who is a weekend alcoholic might be hard to detect. The person themselves may not even realize that they are a weekend alcoholic. They might reason with themselves thinking it is “self-deserved.” They feel like they have worked hard all week, and they deserve to drink. Another thought is, how can I be an alcoholic? I only drink on weekends? I deserve to let my hair down and have a drink. This thought process can impede a person from getting the necessary help they need.
How to Stop Weekend Drinking
Here are some simple ways to help end the weekend drinking binge:
- One way to keep from binge drinking on the weekend is to stay busy. Some ideas are reading, playing video games, entertaining, or cooking for someone special.
- Another way to break the chain of weekend alcoholism is to work over the weekend. Not only will working keep your mind off alcohol, but it will also score points with your boss.
- Another good way to have a healthy weekend is to exercise. Exercising helps release endorphins, which helps you feel good. Some great exercising tips are walking, running, hiking trails, water or snow skiing, playing a sport, and going to the gym. Being active not only releases endorphins, but it will also keep your mind off alcohol.
- A great way to keep up with health and kick the weekend binge drinking is by eating healthy and taking care of yourself. This may include taking the necessary vitamins to stay healthy.
- Doing something that really gives you joy, like being outside or going to the beach, is another idea to stop weekend binging.
- A great start to end weekend binge drinking is to avoid places that have alcohol.
- Another great tip for kicking the weekend binge drinking is not to hang out with people who trigger you to drink. People who drink excessively may be a downfall to your success going alcohol-free. People who irritate you may make you want to drink.
- If a loved one needs help abstaining from drinking and will not do it on their own, have an intervention. An intervention is a small gathering of people who love the person struggling with addiction. They help let the person know they are there for them.
- If you or a loved one needs help to quit drinking alcohol, getting professional help is always a good idea.
Get More Information
It is important for you to get all the facts on any disease involving alcohol. Knowledge is the first step towards recovery. Know your needs, and what types of programs are available for you. If you or a loved one is struggling with weekend binge drinking, contact us at 1st Step Behavioral Health. You will be glad you did.