Alcohol addiction creates an amazing struggle between the individual and his or her desire to quit drinking. If you suffer from alcohol addiction, you may have already noticed that despite your desire to quit drinking, no matter how hard you try you just can’t. The life of an alcoholic is plagued by instances similar to this all the time. Alcohol addiction is very difficult to cope with and it’s also rather difficult to break as alcohol is readily consumed throughout the world in bars, restaurants, at homes and socially with friends, family members, co-workers and others.
Despite the fact that alcohol is a perfectly legal substance, millions of people find themselves addicted and suffering the consequences of drinking. Those who become addicted to alcohol lose self-control, may not be able to quit on their own and are likely to require professional help. Many don’t even realize that they have a drinking problem until they suffer a terrible consequence or their friends, family members or loved ones alert them to the disease.
How Alcohol Addiction Develops
Alcohol addiction develops much like drug addiction. An individual may have a few drinks casually after work each day and as time progresses, a few drinks turn into a few more and eventually the individual is no longer just drinking after work. He or she may drink before work, during work or the drinking may continue into the wee hours of the night. Physical tolerance builds and it takes more and more alcohol to produce the same effects as it once did—alcohol addiction is beginning to set in.
Although tolerance is one factor in alcohol addiction, many people can develop a tolerance to alcohol but not suffer from addiction. Alcohol addiction is also characterized by a burning psychological desire to drink or a perceived physical need to consume alcoholic beverages. People who are addicted to alcohol are likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms when they don’t drink and may find it difficult to get through the day without a drink.
Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction
The symptoms of alcohol addiction are often rather easy to recognize. Unlike some addictions that are rather hidden, the early signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction often include extreme characteristic & behavioral changes that are spotted from a mile away. Some of the most common signs of alcohol addiction include:
- Withdrawals when alcohol is not used. These may include anxiety, sweating, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, depression or irritability
- Loss of control over drinking
- Drinking more than 5 drinks per week
- Drinking more than twice per week
- Giving up activities in order to drink
- Drinking despite the known problems that it is causing in your life
- Allowing alcohol to take up much of your time rather than spend time with family, friends or doing something you love
When to Seek Help
If you notice that alcohol has taken precedence in your life or in the life of someone you love, it may be time to seek professional help. Many people who drink alcohol are unable to stop using on their own and will require more than just a desire to quit—they will need professional help. It’s time to seek help for alcohol addiction if any of the above signs of addiction are present in your life or if:
- Drinking is causing adverse problems in life
- Legal trouble has occurred as a result of drinking such as a DUI or public intoxication charge
- Financial problems have occurred or you spend bill money on alcohol
- Health problems such as living disease or kidney problems have set in
- Relationship problems such as fighting when under the influence have occurred