Drinking alcohol alone is an activity that can herald the presence of a dependence and increasing tolerance to the drink. Some people enjoy the freedom associated with going out by themselves and socializing over a drink or two. Others enjoy drinking at home by themselves and find that alcohol helps them to relax and sleep. These kinds of behaviors can indicate that a person is self-medicating problems or issues that they do not want to face. They may be having problems with family members, friends or at work, and need alcohol to help them forget what is going on. A person could also suffer from a mental illness or [social anxiety](http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/social-anxiety-disorder-substance-abuse/) and need alcohol to help them to socialize without realizing that they are becoming dependent.
A person may also begin to drink by themselves because they do not want people to question the amount or frequency of alcohol that they are drinking. A person who hides their drinking from others should be questioning why they are doing it – are they ashamed or feeling guilty of their drinking? Do friends and family tell them that they drink too much? Why do they want to be drunk alone? A person who drinks alone is putting themselves at risk of developing a substance abuse problem and of increasing the problems they are facing. They are isolating themselves from others, magnifying problems with friends and family and denying that they have a problem.
Drinking Alone at Home
Many people enjoy drinking at home when they are alone, having a glass of wine over dinner, a beer while watching television or something stronger as a nightcap. There is nothing wrong with the occasional drink by oneself, problems may arise when this becomes a regular habit. Drinking alone carries a risk of heavier drinking, pouring stronger drinks or binging. One glass can easily lead to more if alcohol is being used to soothe nerves, help someone sleep or calm fears.
Drinking at home alone can indicate a serious problem, such as a mental illness or alcoholism. If a person is suffering from anxiety, for example, alcohol could be used as a medicine to calm thoughts and help them relax. However, self-medicating with alcohol or any other substance can lead to a more serious and harmful problem with alcohol. [Tolerance](http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/drug-alcohol-tolerance/) and dependency on alcohol can develop easier for some people, especially if they have other problems that need to be resolved.
Alcohol is known to be a factor in the development of [depressive thoughts](http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/depression/alcoholanddepression_000486.htm). There are some indicators that suggest that alcohol may also play a large part in attempting suicide, with statistics revealing that alcohol is present in up to half of those who have committed suicide. Alcohol is considered a risk factor for [suicide](http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/alcohol-and-suicide/) even in the absence of abuse or dependence. Alcohol is known to lead to impulsive decisions such as taking one’s own life. Alcohol can cause many negative feelings for a person who has feelings of loneliness, sadness, abandonment. If a person has family problems, has been the victim of violence or sexual assault or has financial or relationship problems, drinking can magnify these issues compromise judgment. This is especially true when the person drinks alone without anyone to talk to or talk through some of their feelings or problems.
Drinking Alone When Out
Drinking alone when in a bar or club can be fun or risky, depending on the situation. Some people enjoy the freedom of sitting in a bar or going to a club alone and socializing with new people over drinks. However, there are many risks involved with this activity. The risk of being involved in an assault can be high, and the person could be seriously injured without a friend around to keep an eye on them. Alcohol influences a person’s decision making and impulsivity. It can give people the courage people do things that they would otherwise not consider. It helps them decide, for example, to go and talk to an attractive person, to take a chance and gamble or to take other substances. It can even convince some that there are capable of operating a vehicle despite the fact that they are intoxicated.
[Women who drink alone in bars or clubs are at a much higher risk of being involved in a sexual assault or rape](http://www.uknetguide.co.uk/Health_and_Fitness/Article/Drinking_alone_dangerous_in_more_ways_than_one-103677.html) than those who have friends, family members or colleagues with them. A [woman who is obviously intoxicated](http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/women-and-alcohol/) may be taken advantage of, coerced into going home with someone they might otherwise not or participating in unsafe sex when drunk. Alcohol acts as a social lubricant and some people use it as a tool to convince someone to have sex with them. Some people may ply a woman with more drinks, stronger drinks or drinks that are spiked to influence their decision making. All these risks can be significantly reduced if a woman has someone they know with them when they go out to a bar or club.
Men who are by themselves in a bar or club are more likely to be involved in fights, [violence](http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/drugs-alcohol-and-violence/) or assaults. They may perceive others to be paying them unwanted attention or misinterpret other’s comments. Fights in clubs and bars often are due to the affect of alcohol on judgment. Alcohol also magnifies feelings of anger or depression, which can erupt in a violent outburst when a man is slighted.
Increased Risk of Drink Spiking
[Drink spiking](http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/drink-spiking/) is a serious and dangerous problem that both women should be careful of if they are drinking by themselves. Drink spiking can occur when a drink is left unattended, by a bartender or even by an acquaintance or friend. The risk of being assaulted or raped as a result of drink spiking is significantly higher when a person is on their own in a bar or club. They can be lead to a location without anyone questioning the perpetrator and the perpetrator can convince the security or bar staff that they have permission to take them away or take advantage of them without the victim speaking up.
Drink spiking can occur with both legal and illegal drugs. The spiking of a person’s drink with more alcohol than they are aware of is as much a form of drink spiking as adding a drug like ketamine, [GHB](http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/ghb-gamma-hydroxybutyrate/) or rohypnal. If the intention is to induce severe intoxication or loss of control, then it can be considered drink spiking. Drink spiking using any substance is illegal, and severe penalties including jail time can be applied.
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