Free Comprehensive Online Test Reveals Your Drinking Personality

  • ​Discover your drinking type with the Drinkers Continuum
  • ​​Uncover the characteristics of binge, weekend, daily, and dependent drinkers
  • ​​Learn the importance of addressing relapses and "slips" in your recovery journey
  • ​​Reframe setbacks as part of your path to healthier drinking habits
  • ​​Find out how to take the revealing online assessment at insideaddiction.co.uk/y
  • ​​Understand the unique challenges faced by each type of drinker
  • ​​Seek the appropriate help and resources for your situation by knowing where you stand on the continuum
CUSTOM JAVASCRIPT / HTML

In our previous episode, we discussed common treatment options for various types of drinkers. The challenge people face is determining which treatment is right for them, which led me to create the Drinkers Continuum. This online assessment places you on a scale of four different types of drinkers: binge drinker, weekend drinker, daily drinker, and dependent drinker. Today, we'll explore the characteristics of each type of drinker, and I'll share stories to help you understand what each one looks like. We'll also discuss the concept of a non-drinker.

To get the most out of this episode, I recommend taking the online assessment at insideaddiction.co.uk/why. This will help you understand which type of drinker you are, and we can delve deeper into each category.

Before discussing the continuum, let's address relapses or "slips." Our approach to dealing with slips differs from other treatment options, which is why our clients find the Drinkers Continuum helpful. Slips can be discouraging, but they can also be reframed as part of the journey towards developing healthier drinking habits.

Now let's explore the Drinkers Continuum in more detail:

  • ​​​Non-drinker: Someone who abstains from alcohol and has learned to cope with triggers and underlying emotions without drinking.
  • ​​Binge drinker: Characterised by occasional heavy drinking episodes, often going until blackout. These drinkers may not consume alcohol for weeks but engage in intense binges when they do.
  • ​​Weekend drinker: Drinks primarily on weekends, with 3-5 days off per week. These individuals usually unwind with alcohol after a long workweek.
  • ​​Daily drinker: Consumes alcohol every day, typically a bottle or two of wine or several beers. Daily drinkers don't usually consume large quantities of spirits.
  • ​​Dependent drinker: Drinks every day and in large quantities, often requiring alcohol to stave off withdrawal symptoms. This type of drinker may need medical attention if they suddenly stop drinking

Now, let's dive deeper into each type of drinker, starting with the binge drinker. Imagine a person overwhelmed by the demands of work, family, and social life. They turn to alcohol as a way to escape, giving in to social pressures and engaging in binge drinking. Over time, they build a tolerance and need to consume increasingly large amounts of alcohol to feel its effects. After each binge, they experience guilt and shame, which adds to their feelings of overwhelm.

As for the weekend drinker, their primary drinking days are Fridays and Saturdays. They maintain a balance between their work and personal lives but turn to alcohol as a means of relaxation and stress relief. The weekend drinker may drink heavily but doesn't usually experience blackouts or other severe consequences.

The daily drinker has a more consistent alcohol intake, consuming a bottle or two of wine or several beers every day. Their drinking is often a routine part of their day, and they may not even realize the extent of their alcohol consumption. This type of drinker may struggle with the idea of cutting back, as alcohol has become ingrained in their daily life.

Lastly, the dependent drinker relies on alcohol to function. They drink every day and in large quantities, often experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they don't have alcohol. This level of dependence can be dangerous, and if you or someone you know is a dependent drinker, it's crucial to seek medical help for detox and treatment.

By understanding the different types of drinkers and where you fall on the Drinkers Continuum, you can better assess your relationship with alcohol and seek the appropriate help and resources for your situation.

TRANSCRIPT OF PODCAST

In the previous episode, we spoke about some of the most common treatment options. And the main problem with all of them is that people don't know what type of drinker they are, so they don't know which treatment option is right for them. And this realisation is what led me to create what I call the drinkers continuum. It's an online assessment that places you on a scale of four different types of drinkers. So for example, on the far left we have a non-drinker and we don't actually count this type of drinker. And that's why we say there's only 4 or 5. And then from left to right, we have a binge drinker, a weekend drinker, a daily drinker and a dependent drinker. Now, in this episode, we're going to talk about the characteristics of each type of drinker, and I'm going to tell you a story of what each type of drinker looks like so you can really identify what that looks like. And then I'm going to go over what a non drinker is as we come towards the end. But in order to get the most out of this episode, go and take the online assessment that I put together. You just need to go to inside addiction.co.uk/y. That's inside addiction.co.uk/y and then come back and listen to this episode because then you'll understand what type of drinker you are. You'll be able to answer the 40 yes or no questions and really understand and clarify where you sit and then we can dive in more depth into each one so you can get a bit more of an understanding about it. Let's go on with the episode. And before we get to the continuum, I want to mention relapses or what we call slips. So other treatment options don't deal with slips or relapses the same way we do. And that's why our clients find this drink continuum to be incredibly helpful when dealing with slips is because many people who make progress in manage their drinking and changing their drinking habit, they abstain for a period of time or they start to make progress. But then they have a day or a time or a challenge or something that comes up where they slip and they drink again. And that can be really, really challenging and that can make them feel like they've messed up or they're back to square one. But in reality, usually they've actually moved along the continuum towards becoming a non drinker, such as going from a daily drinker, someone who drinks every single day to a weekend drinker. And this realisation is a valuable tool to actually reframe setbacks as part of the journey towards developing a healthier drinking habit and getting things under control. And this is something I go way more in depth in in our program is around slips and we do like a whole video and a whole section on that. So if you want to know more about slips in their entirety, go and have a look at that. But I just wanted to mention it here, just to give you a bit of a context and a frame. So let's get to the continuum first. You have the non drinker and that's someone who abstained from alcohol and they've learned to cope with their triggers and the underlying emotions without drinking. And next along you have the binge drinker and they make the most of their drinking. When they do drink, they go on big binges, they drink till a blackout and they may not drink for a couple of weeks at a time. But when they do, they really press the fucking button and hit it hard and go until they blackout. And next we have the weekend drinker and they roughly have between 3 or 5 days off a week. But they do drink every single week and primarily at the weekends after a long week at work. Then you have a daily drinker and that's someone who typically drinks a bottle or two of wine a night or just sticks to beers, and they tend to drink every single day, but not in really high volumes and not in terms of loads of spirits and that kind of level of drinking. That's where we get to the next one, which is a dependent drinker. Now a dependent drinker drinks every single day and in large quantities. So like loads and loads of wine, loads and loads of beer and lots of perhaps like vodka in the morning or a bottle of vodka a day. And this type of drinker typically needs to drink first thing in the morning to stop seizures and shakes. And if they actually stop drinking, that can be, you know, a challenging for them and they can need medical attention. So if you're at this level of drinking, please do seek a medical detox or reach out to your local GP and get the support you need. And don't just go cold turkey if you're drinking that amount because that can be really dangerous. So just bear that in mind. So now we're going to dive deeper into the continuum and look more in depth for each different type of drinker. So let's start off with a binge drinker. He feels like he's being pulled in a million different directions work caring for the kids, managing finances, helping his older parents, maintaining a relationship with his partner and trying to see his friends every few weeks. The weight of his responsibilities becomes too much for him to bear, and he needs a way to escape it all. So he disappears for a drink, offering to come into the social pressure from his social circle and engaging in binge drinking and going on a binge. Is his way of taking a break from the constant demands placed on him and giving himself a moment of respite. You know, he's built up a tolerance to alcohol and he needs to consume increasingly large amounts of alcohol when he does drink to actually feel drunk and numb out his emotions. And he drinks until he blacks out or he can't remember the nights or he wakes up drunk or has to get shoved into a taxi or taken home by a friend. After each binge, he feels guilt and shame, which only adds to his feelings of overwhelm and make him want to escape even more. As things build up over the weeks. Despite consuming a lot of alcohol. When he does drink, he tends to be more moderate in his drinking overall, abstaining from binging for weeks at a time. And this type of drink typically may not actually drink for a few weeks, but when they do drink. It just goes bonkers. And they don't really have strong withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking. Just a really sore hangover. But ultimately, their actions lead to feelings of regret and further strain their relationship. And ultimately, he knows he needs to find a healthier way to cope. But he just can't seem to break the cycle on his own. So some of the characteristics of a binge drinker is tolerance. So binge drinkers have built up a tolerance to alcohol, and that means that they can consume increasingly large amounts of alcohol to actually get drunk. Also moderation. So they may consume a lot of alcohol when they do, but they tend to be more moderate in their drinking overall and abstain from binge ing for up to weeks at a time. There's social pressure, so they may feel pressure from social from their social circle to actually drink and engage in those behaviours. Then there's blackouts. So they may experience blackouts or memory loss where they can't remember what happened while they were on a binge or getting hammered. Also regret. So they may experience feelings of regret and shame after engaging in binge drinking. Also risky behaviour. So when they're drunk they may take riskier behaviour such as drink driving or, you know, behaviours that don't keep them safe. Falling over, stumbling again, not knowing where they are, being incoherent, losing their phone. Fuck me. That's a big one. Losing your phone when you're drunk. That is annoying and a really big frustration for a lot of people and a bit of a warning sign that you are definitely too hammered. So if you're on your fifth phone this year, you know, go and take the assessment. But next you have control. So we have a, you know, a binge drinker. It's not like a dependent drinker. The binge drinker can actually abstain for periods of time without having those withdrawal symptoms. But as time goes on and as the weeks go past, they start to forget all of that shame and guilt and they think, oh, I can just have a few. I can just have one. Then one leads to three, which then leads to five. And once they're past the drink drive limit, they're just getting hammered for a long period of time. Next is the weekend drinker. He relies on alcohol to help him cope, especially on weekends. And as the demands on him continue to mount, he finds himself drinking more and more. He drinks in social situations such as parties and gatherings with friends, and he struggles to keep up with everything and feels overwhelmed all the time. And by the end of the week, he just wants to let go and have a good time with his friends and enjoy that social aspect of drinking and the temporary escape it provides from the stresses of everyday life. He wakes up feeling guilt and shame and embarrassed about his behaviour and the way he has let himself and his loved ones down. His relationship with his partner is strained because of the lack of trust and the constant fighting about his drinking. And he knows he's spiralling out of control. And if he doesn't make a change, things are not going to end well. And although the negative consequences of his drinking may not be as severe as other types of drinkers, he's still experiencing hangovers, poor sleep, strained relationships. His work is impacted. He's just functioning, but just struggling to function. And unlike a dependent drinker, he typically has control of his drinking and may abstain for a few days of each week and not really have many withdrawal symptoms and be like, Oh, I'm okay. I didn't drink these days, so only at the weekend I can have a drink at the weekend. And despite this, he feels like he is searching for a way to break the cycle and to find a healthier way to cope with the stress in his life. The characteristics of a weekend drinker. So typically they tend to be more social. They tend to drink in social situations such as parties or gatherings or with friends. They may drink to have fun or to fit in with that social circle. They're heavy drinkers, so they may consume large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time, and this can lead to challenging behaviour. But there is that sense of moderation. So while they do consume a lot of alcohol, when they do drink, they tend to be more moderate overall because they are having like a few days off a week and they tend to only drink at the weekends, but they still engage in like the risky behaviour and they may drink, drive or have arguments or find cause arguments with their partner or come home drunk or not know what's going on or escalate their behaviour to do coke or other drugs and take things too far. Also, there's a lot of consequences to the weekend drinker. As with a lot of the drinkers or the different types of drinkers or drinking in general, there's the hangovers, the poor sleep, the strained relationships, the performance of work, all those things become really, really challenging. Next we have the Daily Drinker. He is stuck in the cycle of excessive daily drinking, which feels like it's been going on for an eternity. The monotony of going through the motion takes a heavy toll on him. And after the pandemic hit, he found himself drinking every single day. His high tolerance for alcohol means he needs to drink more and more to get drunk and to numb those emotions. But never used to be this bad. He used to only drink a few times a week. But now it's a bottle or two of wine every single night or 5 to 10 beers every single night. He has a routine around his drinking, such as drinking after work or with dinner. And surprisingly, he's still able to function in his daily life and not experience the same level of negative consequences as a dependent drinker. He still kind of hanging on by a thread. However, he relies on alcohol to help him relax and feel better. After a long day and despite drinking heavily, he may spend a lot of time drinking alone at home, which can lead to social isolation. And the physical and mental effects can be challenging when it comes to drinking every single day, resulting in higher blood pressure or depression or anxiety or early onset problems with one's liver. And he is consumed by the feelings of shame and guilt and self-hatred. And he knows he needs to make a change, but he can't seem to break this daily cycle. It's like he's trapped in this endless loop of drinking and feeling guilty and only just to turn to drinking again as a way to cope. Unlike other types of drinkers, he denies how bad the problem really is and underestimates the negative consequences of his drinking. He feels lost and alone, not knowing how to escape the darkness that has taken over his life. So the characteristics of a daily drinker is tolerance. Typically, a daily drinker has a higher tolerance for alcohol, which means they need to drink more and more to get drunk. There's also routines. They may have a routine around their drinking, such as drinking every day after work with dinner. Also functioning while they are drinking very regularly, they're still able to function in their daily life, and they may not experience the same level of interruption as a dependent drinker. Also, emotions. They rely on alcohol to help them relax and feel better after a long day. Also the social isolation. They spend a lot of time drinking alone, which can lead to that sense of loneliness. If they're not going out and drinking and they're just having a bottle of wine or beers at home every single night. That can be isolating. And then there's the physical mental health problems individuals. They experience the physical challenges of liver problems, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety. And there's also the denial. You know, like other types of drinkers, daily drinkers may deny that they have a problem with alcohol or underestimate the negative consequences of their drinking. It's important to note that they understand that at some level that their drinking isn't helping. And if they're on a very thin line of functioning and if they cross that line or trip over that line, they may fall into a dependent drinker, which we're going to come on to next. So a dependent drinker. Finds himself constantly juggling a multitude of responsibilities between work, family struggling to find a balance, and over time they develop a very high tolerance of alcohol, needing to drink more and more to achieve the desired effect. And their drinking escalates and escalates and escalates and they start to have to drink in the morning so they don't experience such severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures and shakes. And unable to control their drinking. It's just got to that point where it has become too uncontrollable that they have to just drink in the morning. They're too dependent on it. Their body starts to physically crave it and need it if they don't have it in their system. And they just drink to the point of being completely out of control. And that can lead to neglect of work or losing a job or losing their house or trouble with their family or their just general responsibilities. And their by this point, their health is definitely beginning to suffer and their liver is definitely been taking a beating after the years of abuse and they likely have a higher blood pressure and feel depressed and their personal relationships, if they haven't completely dissolved and gone, then they're hanging on by a thread. And there's lots of conflicts and challenges around family and partners and friends. And despite all this evidence, sometimes they remain in denial, refusing to acknowledge the issue. But if you're listening to this, then you've definitely taken the first step in that. So the characteristics of a dependent drinker is the higher tolerance. They've got a higher tolerance and they need to drink more and more. Most importantly is the withdrawal symptoms. So because they experience the physical and psychological symptoms, when they stop drinking, such as seizures and shakes, they have to drink in the morning to stop that. And if they're having high volume of vodka, for example, that can be a really difficult pattern and cycle to get out of and to break. But it is possible. They also neglect their responsibilities in their work and their family and their social life. And they've likely developed health problems and relationship problems. And they're having a hard time actually getting out of that. And if you do have a strong physical dependence on alcohol, then don't just quit drinking alcohol. You need to seek a medical detox to medically reduce your alcohol to a safe level and to have the medication to stop. If you just go cold turkey and stop drinking, that can be very life threatening in some cases. So I don't recommend that and I don't recommend you just completely stop if you're a dependent drinker. I definitely would recommend contacting us or contacting your local GP or searching around for a medical detox and definitely coming off the alcohol in a safe way. It's important to mention that none of these types of drinkers are a life sentence. It's just a benchmark for where you are right now and let you know what will happen if you drink less or if you drink more. And all of these no matter where you're at, which one resonates with you the most, you can improve. And in order to improve, I recommend going and taking the assessment to really find out the four key areas that underlie your drinking and have a significant impact on your ability to control your drinking. So again, you can do that inside addiction.co.uk/y. You can go and take that assessment and it will score you on those call those four core areas. You can also book a consultation call with me. Just go to the website and you can book a consultation call. At the moment those calls are done directly with me. Um, and you can have a chat and we'll talk about your type of drinking and how we can get things back on track and you can have a look at our programme and see if that's a good fit for you. But it's important to recognise that you can improve. And that leads us on to talking about what a normal drinker actually is. This mysterious type of person that many of us sort of see and strive to become the one who can just have a few and take it or leave it. A lot of us who drink and struggle with drink have that challenge of looking at a normal drinker and thinking, Well, if I was only able to take it or leave it like them, all my problems would disappear. However, sometimes what we fail to see is that drinking is just one of the many coping mechanisms that humans will deploy to deal with the realities of their lives. So if you peek behind the curtain of a normal drinkers life, you may find that they have a different coping mechanism such as overspending or hoarding, and they have their own stuff going on. And just because it's not a drink doesn't mean that they have stuff that they need to work on or a different way that they have of managing their emotions. And it's also important to mention what actually is a coping mechanism. So a coping mechanism is a strategy and they're behaviours that people use to manage emotions and navigate difficult situations. And while some coping mechanisms can be healthy and adaptive, such as exercise or meditation or talking to a therapist, others can be harmful or what we call maladaptive, such as substance abuse or drinking or self-harm or avoiding the situation. And many people develop these coping mechanisms in response to stress or trauma or other life challenges. And these coping mechanisms can become ingrained in our habits and challenging to break. And that's why we need to build up healthy tools to process stuff and deal with that and recognising that your alcohol consumption is just your coping mechanism and that it's not serving you is a really fundamental step in regaining your life back. Because you're actually recognising that's your way of dealing with things that may not be other people's. That's their stuff. They can do whatever they want, but for you you recognise that drinking is a problem or doing drugs is a problem. So. What's the ideal goal? If you're looking at this, you're like, okay, cool. So this is what a normal drinker is. I'm this type of drinker. What's the goal? Where are we heading? So. It's important to recognise what a non-drinker is. A normal drinker is someone whose coping mechanism isn't their drinking and a non-drinker is what we're going to talk about now. So non-drinkers come from all walks of life and they have different reasons from abstaining from alcohol. Some may have struggled with alcohol addiction in the past and choose to maintain sobriety, such as myself. I just don't drink because of my struggles in the past. While others may simply choose to abstain for personal reasons or health reasons or because they're pregnant, or some of the reasons we're going to go through in a second. So some of the characteristics of a non drinker is having a strong sense of awareness and the ability to be mindful and resist social pressure to drink in and make a conscious decision to abstain from alcohol. They also may be health conscious and choose to abstain from alcohol for health reasons such as to improve their health. They may be running a marathon or they may be training for some kind of event, or in the Olympics or wherever it may be or could be because of their mental health or because they're pregnant. Any of those reasons? Also personal values. So they may choose to abstain from alcohol due to their religious beliefs that prohibit them from consuming alcohol. Also control. So they may value a sense of control over their lives. And by abstaining from alcohol and avoiding the potential negative consequences of excessive drinking, they are able to stay more in control and not get to that level. Also a sense of support. It's important to have a strong support network around you and good friends and family that encourage you and support your decision to abstain from alcohol. The next one will be social ease. They're comfortable in social situations and they're able to have fun and socialise without relying on a drink. Lastly, personal growth. So they may make their decision to abstain from alcohol as an opportunity to for personal growth and self-discovery. Now that you understand what a non-drinker is, it's important to have a bit of an understanding of the road of how to get there. So that's why we offer 1 to 1 counselling and our programs to help you go through and bridge the gap from where you are and whatever type of drinker resonated with you to being a non drinker and having your drinking under control and even moderating your drinking or just not drinking at all. Our programs and 1 to 1 support really help you do that. So again, if you want to find out more about that, you can just go to the website and book a consultation with me and we can have a beer and talk about the next steps and have a look at your specific situation. Thanks for listening today. Hope you got some value and start to see where you are on the drinker's continuum and start to spot some of the changes you need to make and where you need to be heading. So thanks very much for your time. I wish you well on your journey and I'll see you in the next episode.

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