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Ask a Therapist: I’m starting to need a drink every day. Should I be worried?

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I’m not sure whether you should worry, but I think your instinct to be curious about your need for a daily drink is a good one. In my opinion, you want to assess whether you are able to reduce your drinking on your own, or whether you might benefit from having the support of a therapist to do so.

To assess this, pay attention to when you have the urge to drink and look for patterns. Does the urge occur in response to a particular cue in the environment? Does it happen when you feel stressed? Or when you experience a negative or unwanted emotion, such as sadness or anxiety? Do you have the urge at a particular time of day, such as in the early evening, or before bed?

Understanding your urge to drink and the pattern associated with drinking will provide important information about the habit you are developing around alcohol use. Since Canada’s Drinking Guidelines advise against daily drinking, I would suggest trying to reduce the frequency with which you drink. What happens if you try and resist the urge to drink? Are you able to do so easily? If so, ask your family doctor for personalized drinking guidelines and stick to them. If you find it hard to refrain from drinking, consider speaking to a therapist who can help. With the right support, it is usually possible to make the desired changes.

Care to learn more about managing alcohol use? Check out our Ask a Therapist webinar for May to hear answers to most commonly asked questions: 

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We've launched a brand new alcohol program called Mind My Drinking and we're here whenever and wherever you need us. If you feel like you're ready to start therapy, complete your assessment today by visiting us here

Every month, our Ask a Therapist series answers your most pressing questions about mental health. Have a question you'd like answered by our therapists? Send us an e-mail at community@mindbeacon.com. We'd love to hear from you!

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Stronger Minds content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to establish a standard of care with a reader, you should always seek the advice of your mental health professional, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. If you think you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call emergency services immediately. You should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained herein. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information herein should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.