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What Is Gray Area Drinking?

Have you ever been on vacation and indulged in alcohol way more than you usually would at home? Perhaps you drink extra during the holiday season between all the parties and days off from work, or you experienced an increase in your drinking habits during the Coronavirus pandemic, especially during the stay-at-home orders. Or, maybe, your drinking habits randomly increase here and there with no explanation, and you’re able to get back on track without the help of a Malibu rehab center. If any of these sound familiar, you have experienced Gray Area Drinking. Keep reading to learn more about gray area drinking, how it differs from alcohol use disorder, and signs it is time to seek help from a luxury alcohol rehab.

Gray Area Drinking vs Alcohol Use Disorder

It is not uncommon for people to turn to alcohol for various reasons. Whether it is to cope with something difficult, pass the time during the pandemic, celebrate, or unwind after a long day of work, alcohol is there. Unfortunately, it is a very unhealthy habit and can lead to alcohol use disorder and other negative impacts on work, family, and health. However, gray area drinking is different from alcohol use disorder and is something millions of people experience.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that U.S. adults bought more alcohol during most months of 2020 than in the previous three years. This is no doubt due to the stress of the Coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders.

Signs of Gray Area Drinking

If you are a gray area drinker, the following signs may resonate with you:

  • You worry about how much you’re drinking. You are well aware that your drinking has increased. You may be thinking to yourself that it’s time for a break, or you’re sick of feeling this way. You’re experiencing anxiety, sleeplessness, or other symptoms that make you worry about your drinking habits.
  • You are hungover often. Waking up in the morning after a night of drinking with a headache, anxiety, or other hangover symptoms is typical. However, it is not normal to be experiencing this frequently. You’re aware of your hangovers and are not enjoying the way you’re feeling.
  • You’re able to control or stop your use. When your drinking habits increase, you can “take a break” for a little while to let your body recover. You’re able to stop or slow your drinking, whether it is easy or not, and put your responsibilities first.

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

Where is the line between gray area drinking and alcohol use disorder? If you’re experiencing the following symptoms, you have crossed into the realm of an alcohol use disorder, and it is time to seek treatment from a luxury alcohol rehab:

  1. You cannot stop or control your use. You’re aware that your drinking habits are unhealthy and wish to stop or control your use. However, you are unable to. No matter how many times you promise yourself you will cut back or not drink today, it happens anyway.
  2. You have reached rock bottom. The negative impacts of drinking have overwhelmed your life, and you have reached rock bottom. Rock bottom can look very different for each person who experiences it.
  3. Loved ones are expressing concern for you. Friends and family are worried about your drinking habits and are starting to express concern for you. Talks of rehab or other conversations about how your drinking is negatively impacting them have begun.

What to Do About Gray Area Drinking

If you are a gray area drinker and are looking for ways to deal with it, some tips include:

  1. Listen to your body. If it is time to take a break from alcohol, do it. Give your body the rest, water, and nutrition it needs. Healthy food will give it the fuel it needs to rid itself of toxins, while exercise will provide you with natural energy and endorphins.
  2. Focus your attention on something else. Instead of using alcohol, start something new, whether it is a project, spending more time with family, reorganizing, or self-care. You’ll not only be doing something healthy and productive, but you’re giving your body the break it needs from alcohol.
  3. Talk to someone. Most people who use alcohol have experienced gray area drinking habits. Talk to your friends or family about how you feel—you may be surprised at the advice or fellowship you will receive.

Finding Help with Luxury Alcohol Rehab at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center

Whether you are a gray area drinker who needs extra support or suffering from severe alcohol use disorder, we are here to help you. Detoxing from alcohol can be difficult, no matter which end of the drinking spectrum you are on. Medically-assisted detox will ensure your comfort and safety while your body readjusts to life without alcohol.

Individualized treatment at luxury alcohol rehab is the key to overcoming alcohol use disorder. Gray area drinkers do not require the same treatment as those with severe alcohol use disorder and vice versa. Individualized treatment will ensure that you are getting all of your needs met to help you pinpoint and overcome your drinking habits.

If you’re ready to start your journey to long-lasting recovery from unhealthy drinking habits, we are here for you.