Drinking Alone: The Path to Alcoholism, or Simply a Stigma?

Last Updated: August 7, 2019

Drinking Alone: The Path to Alcoholism, or Simply a Stigma?

Drinking alone is not inherently bad, but it is a practice that can lead to alcoholism. While many people have a drink at home after work to relax and as a self-reward, frequent drinking can lead to alcohol dependence and alcoholism. Individuals who drink alone have a higher risk of assaults and solitary drinking can lead to depression.

Drinking Alone | Free Your Spirit

Drinking is a complex phenomenon that can be caused by many factors, and that can lead to severe consequences. Drinking in and of itself is a commonly-accepted social practice; but drinking can easily twist into another health problem: drinking alone.

Some people see various advantages to drinking alone:

  • Choosing what to drink
  • Deciding on the pace
  • Not feeling social pressure
  • Spending some quality time with oneself
Many users report that if one can avoid dependency and depression, drinking alone is not a problem at all. While it’s true that there’s some stigma about drinking alone, it’s a fact that solitary drinking can lead to some physiological, emotional and social consequences.

Is Drinking Alone Bad?

Many people often have a beer after they get back from work or enjoy a drink with their meal. However, drinking can be a sign of a more serious problem. Some people go out and drink by themselves. If that’s normal for people who have moved to a different place and who still need to build a social network, for example, drinking alone at a bar can be an indicator of broken social interactions or an attempt to avoid questions related to drinking. It’s also an artificial way for many anxious people to overcome their fears and socialize without being nervous. However, it might be one of the signs of alcohol addiction as well.

Many times drinking makes people not only more talkative and relaxed but confused. Drinking affects decision-making. In some cases, drinking out can escalate into a binge- or heavy drinking, which can lead to alcohol addiction. Dangers of binge drinking must be communicated to individuals of different age and occupation.

Drinking alone has risks for the drinkers themselves, especially for women. When intoxicated and alone, women can easily become victims of sexual assault. Drink spiking is unfortunately not uncommon.

People who drink alone can also become dangerous for the people around them. Drunk-driving, fights (especially when it comes to male drinkers) and property damage are some of the consequences that drinking alone leads to.

Drinking Alone At Home

Drinking alone often happens when one is alone at home. Of course, not always having a glass of your favorite drink means that you have a drinking problem. If drinking alone is used as a way to treat insomnia or to deal with some emotional pain, however, that is a sign of more serious issues. Self-medication with alcohol can have severe side effects, especially when mixed with other drugs. Drinking alone affects the alcoholic personality type differently.

Drinking alone can also be caused by shame and guilt regarding alcohol. Hiding from society can be a sign of a severe form of social anxiety, which can result in an inability to function normally.

Many people who drink alone at home admit that their first solitary drink happened in their teenage years. Young drinkers can develop drinking habits in this manner, which can result in alcoholism. Studies show that many teenagers drink alone just to cope with their emotional pain.

Drinking Alone & Depression

Maybe one of the worst consequences of drinking alone, especially when at home, is depression. It’s been proven that alcohol induces depressive thoughts, and that can easily lead to real suicide attempts.

The connection between alcohol, depression, and suicide should not be understated because many people, including teenagers, take the spontaneous decision to end their life under the influence of the bottle. Psychological causes of alcohol abuse often lead to co-ocurrent mental disorders as well.

Statistics show that this problem is even higher in people with a history of drug abuse and victims of violence.

Drinking Alone & Alcoholism

Drinking alone is often seen as a taboo topic. Somehow, people accept social drinking but not solitary drinking. Images of old alcoholics drinking alone at bars are disconnected from images of young friends drinking at parties. Many times, advertising tells us that going out is fun, especially when accompanied by alcohol.

Drinking Alone & Alcoholism

The line between drinking alone and alcoholism is unclear, but definitely thin. Solitary drinking does not always lead to alcoholism but is a ticket to it. Sometimes when we are left alone, we face our demons, and we are not capable of dealing with them. Prevention of alcohol abuse is impossible without knowing the signs of a problem.

Psychologists suggest that you should ask yourself if you have a drinking problem when you:

  • Anticipate drinking
  • Don’t control your drinking
  • Drink to resolve a personal crisis or deal with boredom
  • Let alcohol affect your health and work
  • Drive after drinking
Drinking alone at home is not always bad and it is not always a factor that leads to alcoholism. However, solitary drinking at home is potentially dangerous behavior.

It is important to enroll in treatment for alcohol abuser as soon as the first signs of a problem were noticed. The alcohol treatment centers adjust their programs to the specific needs of every individual. It is not necessary to stay in the rehab facility overnight as there are many alcohol outpatient programs which allow choosing the most suitable treatment schedule.


Marixie Ann Manarang-Obsioma

Content Writer

Marixie Ann Manarang-Obsioma is a licensed Medical Technologist (Medical Laboratory Science) and an undergraduate of Doctor of Medicine (MD). She took her Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology at Angeles University Foundation and graduated with flying colors.

The combination of having a good medical background, being a mom, and wanting to help people, especially the elderly has cultivated her passion for working in remote areas with love and compassion.
Marixie likes to travel, read, and watch movies.

Medical review by Brian Obodeze

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