In recent years, it has been very common to hear about all the positive cardio-protective effects of drinking wine, even on a daily basis. Wine in small doses can be helpful for reducing the risk of blood clots and reducing overall blood pressure. It is known to slow the effect of aging and decrease the risk of cancer. It has also been suggested to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease in some studies. Many articles have been released encouraging that a glass of wine is healthy to drink daily. However, wine is not all good. In large amounts wine has actually been linked with breast cancer risk, but recent studies indicated that this is increased even with just a glass of wine a day. In addition, wine is similar to other alcohol and can be very addictive and habit forming. In general, addiction is thought of as a very public and obvious problem, but in reality, both addiction and occasional drinking can become an obsession even if they aren't done every day or doesn't lead someone to becoming drunk.
Definition of an addiction
True addiction or dependence on alcohol has very specific definitions including the following: continued use despite harmful consequences, being unable to stop using a substance, failure to meet obligations at work or home because of it, and tolerance or requiring increasing amounts of a substance to achieve the same affects. These are very specific definitions that Psychologists use to define a true addiction. In spite of the exact descriptions of addiction, however, there are many other habits and factors that are not exactly an addiction, but are harmful to one's life or can predispose people to develop a problem. There is a place between moderation and addiction that people need to be aware of.
How to avoid a problem with drinking wine
Wine drinking can be highly addictive so it is important to treat regular consumption with respect. Safe drinking is normally considered 5 oz of wine, once a day for women and twice a day for men. Even just a glass a day, though, should be treated with respect. There are multiple clues you can look for in your life or in a friend's life that can help show signs of a growing problem with wine consumption. First, one thing to note is that drinking can start to become a problem when it is regularly being used for self-medicating the problems in one's life. This is a particularly difficult way to define too much alcohol use, because most people tend to drink as a way to unwind and forget about the stresses of life. However, if this is the only way you have to relax, you should likely explore some other options – perhaps things like exercising, taking a warm bath, or listening to music sometimes instead. Second, those with a history of psychological illnesses such as depression, bipolar syndrome, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder should be very careful with drinking alcohol in general. Each of these illnesses can make identifying a problem more difficult. Third, regularly having trouble sleeping, increased signs of anxiety or depression, or becoming forgetful, disorganized, and confused can be signs of a developing problem and should be discussed with your doctor. These, of course, can be caused by multiple other things but can also be signs of an early dependence. Finally, hiding substance use or money spent on substance use from others can be signs of a growing problem. Anytime or money spent on alcohol should always be shared with others to keep safe. If yourself, or someone you know are showing some of these signs even with occasional wine drinking, it is important to be aware and discuss everything with a doctor.