I Drink Every Night: Am I an Alcoholic?

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If you have a drink (or several) with dinner every night, chances are, you may have pondered the thought “I drink every night – am I an alcoholic?” Problem drinking exists on a spectrum, and daily drinking can affect each person differently. But how can you know if your regular alcohol use is a problem?

We are here to help you learn about signs that may indicate problem alcohol use and to provide tips that can help if you decide you need to dial back on your drinking. Our online alcohol addiction treatment program at Ria Health can also provide additional support, whether you want to quit drinking or just cut back.

Is Drinking Every Night a Problem?

young serious looking man drinking a beer
Photo by the baljinder from Pexels

If you feel that you need a drink every night to unwind or cope with stress, and you experience cravings or a compulsion to drink daily, this behavior could indicate a developing alcohol dependency. Regularly drinking in this manner warrants a closer look at your relationship with alcohol and it may be time to consider getting help for your drinking habits.

While drinking every night sometimes falls into a gray area of alcohol use, the CDC defines moderate drinking as one drink or less per day for women, and two drinks or less per day for men.1 This is based on the standard drink sizes:

  • A 1.5 oz. shot of about 40 percent alcohol
  • A 12 oz. beer with 5 percent alcohol
  • A 5 oz. glass of wine with 12 percent alcohol

If you have one drink per night, but its alcohol concentration or size is significantly bigger than the standard, your alcohol intake may be higher than you think. And if you’re having several drinks per night, the amount of alcohol you’re consuming is likely more than moderate drinking.

Read more: Drinking Levels Defined

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Need Help or Have Questions?

Schedule a private call with a Ria Health team member and we can help you get started.

Signs of Alcoholism

Determining whether nightly drinking signifies alcoholism involves more than just your frequency of consumption. It requires a closer examination of drinking habits and their impact on one’s life. Here are some key questions to help identify signs of alcoholism:

How Many Units Do You Drink Per Week?

As mentioned above, monitoring the total units of alcohol consumed weekly can be revealing. Exceeding recommended limits (14 units per week for both men and women, according to guidelines) can be a red flag.

Do You Use Alcohol as a Coping Mechanism?

It’s important to determine why you’re drinking daily, and not just how much. Turning to alcohol to manage stress, anxiety, depression or other emotional issues is a sign of dependency. If you find yourself relying on alcohol to cope with life’s challenges, it may be indicative of a deeper issue.

Do You Crave Alcohol During the Day?

Experiencing strong urges to drink alcohol at times when it is not socially or culturally customary, such as during work hours or early in the morning, suggests a potential dependency.

Do You Gradually Consume More Alcohol Each Evening?

Tolerance to alcohol can develop over time, leading to increased consumption to achieve the same effects. If you notice that you are drinking more each night to feel the same level of intoxication, this could be a sign of growing dependency.

    Evaluating your relationship with alcohol using these questions can provide insight into whether your nightly drinking is a casual habit or a sign of alcoholism. If you recognize several of these signs in your behavior, it might be time to change your drinking habits or seek professional assistance

    Whether your drinking is verging on alcoholism or not, drinking daily can carry many risks. You can learn more about them in this video from the Chief Medical Officer of Ria Health, Dr. John Mendelson.

    Is Your Drinking Normal?

    Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol. 

    How To Stop Drinking Alcohol Every Night 

    young woman swigging from a beer
    Photo by Thiago Schlemper from Pexels

    Figuring out how to stop drinking alcohol every night is easier said than done. Here are a few practical tips that can help you change your habits:

    Keep Alcohol Out of Your House

    Just like with unhealthy foods, an excellent first step to quitting drinking every night is to keep alcohol out of your house. Making it more difficult to access can help you curb temptation and stick to your goals.

    Replace Your Routine

    If your nights look like getting home from work, changing into comfortable clothes, and cracking open a beer, it may be time for a routine revamp.

    If you want to cut back, consider how you could restructure your time to rewire your habits. For example, you could join a club, make it a routine to take your dog to the park or ride a bike around town. When you fill your time with engaging activities (and especially when you change your environment), you can shift your mind away from those old drinking habit loops.

    You can also drink something else instead. Try mocktails, a cup of tea, seltzer water—or anything else that you enjoy can work as an alcohol-free replacement.

    Build Accountability with Those in Your Life

    Tell your trusted friends and loved ones that you plan to cut back. This creates an extra layer of accountability that can help you stay on course when you feel like grabbing a drink. (A bonus is that this step can also help you gather a team of people to reach out to if you need support!)

    Use Healthy Distractions

    It may come as a surprise, but yes—there is such a thing as a healthy distraction. Instead of reaching for a drink after work, you can spend time on activities such as:

    • Exercising
    • Creating through art, poetry, writing, etc.
    • Cooking
    • Watching a TV series with a partner, friends, or loved ones
    • Any other hobbies that catch your interest

    Read more: How To Stop Drinking Alcohol

    Get Help to Cut Back on Drinking

    If you feel the need to cut back on your drinking you don’t have to tackle it alone. Ria Health is a flexible, smartphone-based program that works to fit your circumstances and unique relationship with alcohol. Whether you want to drink moderately or quit completely, the Ria team can help you get there. Learn more about our program or schedule a free consultation today.


    Have questions about online alcohol treatment?

    or call (800) 504-5360

    Written By:
    Alicia Schultz
    Alicia is a Minnesota-based freelancer who writes for Ria Health and various other brands in the health and wellness space. Beyond addiction and recovery, she also covers topics relating to general well-being, mindfulness, fitness, mental health, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her relaxing with her three-legged cat, trying new workout routines, and spending time with her loved ones.
    Reviewed By:
    Evan O'Donnell
    Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.

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    Have questions about online alcohol treatment?

    or call (800) 504-5360

    Is My Drinking Normal?

    Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol.