Problematic drinking differs from binge drinking in that it examines patterned behaviors related to alcohol use. This is not to say that binge drinking may be a sign of problematic drinking, but that an individual scenario of binge drinking is not enough to qualify the behavior as problematic.
Some signs that someone’s drinking is becoming problematic include:
- Risk of bodily harm (e.g. drinking and driving, swimming while intoxicated)
- Negatively impacting personal relationships
- Lawful consequences of actions and behaviors while drinking
- Loss of control over alcohol (e.g. not being able to maintain limits)
- Increased tolerance to the effects of alcohol
Concerned about yourself or a friend? Use this quick screening tool.
- Rethinking Drinking: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov
- Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/295/17/2100.full.pdf