Dependent on drinks
Once you start relying on alcohol to cut stress, you're in trouble. "When you're alcohol-dependent, you're chronically stressed at a baseline level," says Sher. "It's kind of an emotional 'hair of the dog' phenomenon. Part of the stress you're feeling is a consequence of the dependency." Read: You have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, so you have to drink alcohol to get back to "normal."
The key signal is flexibility. If you're disappointed there's no alcohol and you're having trouble not drinking at a party or a friend's house, you likely have a problem. "That's a sign of dependency," says Landau.
Says Sher, "If you're using any drug as a primary way to regulate emotion, you're in big trouble."
So if you can drink moderately, go ahead and enjoy it. But if you're relying on alcohol to relieve stress, you're walking down a dangerous path. Look into other ways to reduce your stress.
This article was originally published on upwave.com