Lunch time drinking is fairly common. In the business world it can even be considered an important way to socialize with clients and make new contacts. Most of those individuals who occasionally have a drink at lunch time will never develop alcohol problems as a result. This habit can still have a detrimental impact on their life though – it may reduce their productivity for the rest of the day. Those people who feel that they need to drink at lunch time may be already well on their way to developing alcoholism.
Just because people choose to drink at lunch time does not mean that they have any type of alcohol problem. In many respects there is no real difference between drinking at lunch and drinking at any other time of the day. It is not consuming alcohol at this time that is the worry but the reasons for why people are engaging in this behavior. It is perfectly possible for lunch time drinking to be considered social and safe.
There are a number of acceptable reasons for why people might be drinking at lunch. It may be a special occasion or the individual may have a work pattern whereby lunch is the end of their work day. There are also plenty of less justifiable reasons for why people drink at this time of the day including:
* The individual is trying to recover from a hangover by drinking more alcohol.
* Some people feel stressed by their job. They find that a lunch time drink helps them make it through the day.
* Those who are heavy drinkers may begin to suffer the symptoms of withdrawal if they do not have a drink at lunch time.
* Some people find it hard to function without alcohol in their system.
* Those people who belong to a peer group of heavy drinkers are likely to treat lunch time drinking as the norm.
There are some real dangers associated with lunch time drinking including:
* People can be tempted to keep drinking for the rest of the day.
* Those people who still have work to do in the afternoon will likely to be less productive as a result of their alcohol intake.
* Those who have consumed alcohol in the hope of escaping their hangover will be just delaying the symptoms. When the symptoms reappear they may be tempted to drink further alcohol.
* Lunch time drinking leaves people feeling tired and grumpy in the afternoons.
* Those who feel that they need to drink during the lunch time may already be on their way to developing alcoholism.
* Even drinking a small amount of alcohol during the lunch break could put people more at risk of car accidents. Those who also drank the night before may find that even one drink at lunch time could be enough to put them over the limit.
* Most lunch time drinkers will be people who regularly consume above the recommended level for safe drinking. This means that they are increasing their risk of developing health problems such as alcoholic liver disease.
* Some people will be more focused on consuming alcohol during their lunch break than they will be eating a good meal. This is dangerous because it can easily lead to ill health.
The need to drink at lunch time can be viewed as a symptom of alcoholism. The other signs that the individual has developed a serious alcohol problem include:
* They have a strong compulsion to use alcohol
* They have developed an increased tolerance for alcohol. This means that they need to drink more of it to get the same effect.
* They experience symptoms of withdrawal if they reduce their intake or try to quit alcohol.
* The individual finds it difficult to imagine how they will cope if they did not have alcohol in their life.
* They feel uncomfortable about going places where there will be no alcohol available.
* The individual has developed financial problems as a result of their drinking.
* They have experienced loss of memory as a result of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. These losses in memory are referred to as blackouts.
* They feel uncomfortable if they do not have access to alcohol.
* These people may have developed relationship problems as a result of their drinking.
* The individual continues to drink even though they know that this is causing them problems in their life.
* They have neglected their work, social, or family responsibilities as a result of drinking.
* They feel the need to hide the extent of their alcohol intake.
* In the past they may have attempted to reduce their consumption but failed.
* They regularly drink more than they intended to.
* They do things while under the influence of alcohol that they later regret.
* The individual feels the need to drink before going to the bar or a party.
* They hide alcohol around the house.
* They feel guilty about the amount of alcohol they are consuming.
* The individual deliberately sets out to become intoxicated.
* They sometimes drink alone.
* The individual feels irritated and defensive when other people question their drinking.
It is only necessary for people to exhibit some of these signs for them to be considered a problem drinker.
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