The following article is a good resource for evaluating one’s incentive for alcohol use. It defines the differences between casual use, dependency and addiction:
“After a long day at work, Jim eats dinner, turns on the television, goes to the refrigerator, grabs a beer, and sits in his favorite lounge chair. Relaxed, he drinks another, then another, until he finishes off the six-pack. He dozes off occasionally and eventually falls asleep in the chair. Around midnight he awakens and stumbles to his bedroom.
Jim never misses work unless he is violently ill. He is liked by his coworkers and gets along with most people. He has a few friends, but leads a rather lonely life. His sister feels he is an alcoholic and needs help. Jim says he can stop drinking anytime and does not have a problem. He only drinks at night and weekends to calm down and relax from a stressful day.
What do you think?”
The use of alcohol in moderation is not an unhealthy habit. In fact, some studies suggest that drinking a small glass of wine in the evening can be heart healthy. Unfortunately, this can change when a dependency on alcohol is developed to cope with day-to-day stresses. Alcohol dependency and abuse undoubtedly will lead to impairment and distress.