Substance Abuse and Dependence
This issue is about alcohol abuse and addiction in adults. For advice about alcohol issues in adolescents or kids, see the topic Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
What’re alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction?
Alcohol abuse can damage your relationships, cause you to miss work, and result in legal issues including driving while drunk (intoxicated).
If you continue to abuse alcohol, it can result in alcohol addiction. Alcohol dependency is, in addition, called alcoholism. You’re physically or psychologically hooked on booze. You’ve got a powerful need, or craving, to drink. You feel like you must drink only to get by.
You might be dependent on booze if you’ve got three or more of these issues in a year:
It’s not possible to stop drinking or management how much you drink.You must drink more to get exactly the same effect.You’ve got withdrawal symptoms when you quit drinking.
You spend lots of time drinking and recuperating from drinking, or you’ve given up other tasks in order to drink.
You’ve attempted to stop drinking or to reduce the amount you drink but have not been able to.
You continue to drink even though it hurts your relationships and causes physical difficulties.
Alcoholism is a long term (chronic) disease. It is not a weakness or too little willpower. Like many other disorders, it’s a course that can be called, has understood symptoms, and is determined by your genes and your life scenario.It can occasionally be difficult to understand when you start to drink too much.
You’re in danger of drinking too much and should speak with your physician if you’re:1
What are some indications of alcohol abuse or addiction?Specific behaviours may mean that you simply’re having trouble with booze. Included in these are:
Drinking in the morning, frequently being drunk for long intervals, or drinking alone.
Shifting what you drink, like changing from beer to wine because you believe it’ll assist you to drink less or keep you from becoming drunk.
Making excuses for your drinking or doing things to conceal your drinking, like purchasing booze at different shops.
Stressing that you simply will not get enough booze for an evening or weekend.
Booze issues may be diagnosed at a regular physician visit or when you see your physician for another issue. If a partner or friend thinks you’ve got an alcohol problem, she or he may encourage you to see your physician.
Your physician will ask questions about your symptoms and past health, and she or he will do a physical examination and occasionally a mental health evaluation. The mental health evaluation checks to see whether you may have a mental health issue, for example melancholy.Your physician also may ask questions or do evaluations to search for health problems linked to alcohol, for example cirrhosis.
Treatment is dependent upon how poor your booze issue is.
Some individuals can cut back to a reasonable amount of drinking with help from a counselor. Individuals who are hooked on booze may need medical treatment and may need to remain in a hospital or treatment facility.
Your physician may determine you want detoxification, or detox, before you begin treatment. You need detox when you’re physically hooked on booze.
After detox, you focus on remaining booze-free, or sober. Most individuals receive some kind of treatment, including group counselling. In addition, you may need medicine to assist you to remain sober.
If you are sober, you have taken step one toward healing. To obtain complete restoration, you have to take steps to enhance other areas of your life, including learning to take care of work and family. That makes it simpler to remain sober.
You may probably need support to remain sober and in healing. This can include counselling and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Healing is a long term process, not something you can reach in several weeks.
Treatment does not focus on alcohol use alone. Treatment and healing support you in making positive changes so you could live without booze.
What can you do if you or another individual has an issue with booze?
Even should you be successful in other areas of your life, see a physician or head to a self-help group.
If you are covering for the man, you have to quit. For instance, do not make excuses for the man when he or she loses work.
You might be able to help by speaking to the man about what her or his drinking does to you and others. Speak with the man in private, when the individual isn’t using drugs or booze and when you’re both composed. If the individual consents to get help, call for an appointment immediately. Do not wait!
“Alcohol, Gender and drinking problems” by World Health Organization
“Defining Risk Drinking” by Deborah A. Dawson, Ph.D.