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What Is the Line Between Social Use and Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

Last updated: Tuesday, 11, August 2020

There is a fine line between many metaphors in today's language: right and wrong, friend or girlfriend, good and average, great, and the best. There is also a fine line between social use and addiction when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

Alcohol consumption is accepted in today's culture as being sociable, celebratory, even taking a place in different religious ceremonies. A person can have a couple of drinks and be just fine. A person can even binge drink one night and then not have a drink again for weeks or even months. Alternatively, a person can find himself not able to go 24 hours free of alcohol.

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Believe it or not, it is sometimes hard to figure out the fine line. If you see a friend only in social settings where you tend to party a bit, you may not realize that he has a drinking problem. Alternatively, you may shrug it off as he is just partying like everyone else.

Some people believe that smoking pot on the weekends is just a little social fun and relaxation. College students, hippies still leftover from the 60s, many believe marijuana to be harmless. However, if they feel the need to have pot a little more each week, if they feel a craving for it like some do cigarettes, that fine line between social use and addiction is once again being crossed.

Whether you enjoy a drink or two on the weekends or find yourself needing it just to get through the day is a distinguishing feature between social use and addiction. Whether you scoff at someone calling pot an illegal, harmful drug while he or she is puffing away at cigarettes yet you find yourself needing a hit more and more is also a fine line, one that is being crossed.

Drinking and driving cross that fine line from social use to an illegal act. Growing and smoking pot is illegal so that fine line is crossed before you even take that first hit. Allowing minors to drink in your home or buying it for them is a definite crossed line. You may want your child to be popular; you may want to be seen as the cool parent, but that fine line is both illegal and immoral and sends his friends the wrong message about right and wrong.

It really is not hard to cross the fine line between social use and addiction. If you have to wonder if you have crossed it, if you think a little too much or too long about that next drink or hit, then chances are you know deep within yourself: you already have crossed that fine line.


Nickolaus Hayes - Author

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