Alcohol drinkers can be categorized into three groups: those who drink alcohol occasionally usually during social occasions, those who abuse alcohol, and those who depend on alcohol to function normally. Alcohol abusers are people who continue to consume alcohol despite emotional, physical, and even social consequences because of such consumption. The stage of alcohol abuse often always leads to alcohol dependence or alcoholism, which is far more difficult to manage and treat.
Alcohol abuse is the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol, but the drinker is still able to maintain a semblance of normalcy in everyday life. Alcohol abusers have no physiological need to drink, but they simply prefer to drink alcohol in excessive amounts.
They can even be treated using mild intervention, where the main objective is to make the individual aware of the many dangers of alcohol or prolonged alcohol use to the body. Alcohol dependence is a different matter altogether. Alcoholics meet all the criteria that describe alcohol abusers, but there are additional signs that indicate that alcohol abuse has turned in alcoholism.
Signs Alcohol Abuse Has Led to Alcoholism
Abuse is said to have progressed to dependence or alcoholism when the person becomes unable to quit drinking or when he or she can’t control how much he or she drinks. This often results to the person wanting to tone down or eliminate their drinking, only to face difficulty in doing so. The person may also experience withdrawal symptoms once he or she stops drinking.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
- feeling nauseated
The symptoms can become so severe that it becomes all the more difficult to stop drinking. Individuals who are dependent on alcohol may also exhibit recurring cycles of drinking and stopping but ultimately end up consuming alcohol when withdrawal symptoms become unbearable. Some dependents actually drink again just to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Another lesser known symptom of alcoholism is the narrowed repertoire of beverages that a person prefers. For example, he or she may only prefer beer or wine. Other kinds of alcoholic beverages may not be as appealing to the person or may not deliver the same kind of gratification that his or her choice beverage can give.
Individuals who are dependent on alcohol also develop a high tolerance for alcohol so that they eventually need to consume more in order to achieve a similar effect as before. Those who are dependent also find it difficult to stop drinking despite the presence of repeated problems in different areas of their lives.
Treatment of alcohol dependence is also harder compared to the treatment of alcohol abuse. Those who are dependent on alcohol need to undergo a complete program that includes detoxification, medical treatment, counseling, and rehabilitation in order to let go of the habit. Outside treatment may take months, and the management of the condition, including steps to prevent a relapse in the future, is a long-term effort that lasts the lifetime of the individual.
Alcohol dependence is a serious condition that often arises out of alcohol abuse. Once a person starts to exhibit physical cravings for alcohol, the need to consume becomes more and more uncontrollable, and treatment can be difficult, especially if the person is not willing to let go of his habit. It is therefore important to know the signs of alcohol abuse, so that the condition does not progress to alcohol dependence, which is far more difficult to treat.
This is a common occurrence for many people and even though, it can be just so scary and unimaginable when it strikes to home. Wherever you are in this you can be assured that there are many people out there who have gone through it, and are willing to lend a hand, at a professional level inside of a rehab as a counselor and even perhaps through the fellowship of a 12 step program.
One only needs to ask for help 800-303-2482 and many hands will reach out to offer assistance. The reverse is also true. If someone wants to see how fast people can turn on them and effectually disappear from his or her life, carry on down the road of alcohol abuse. You may feel like you have friends at this point, but if they are in the same boat, they are more than likely to be drinking associates more than true friends or family. Anyone can put a stop to this in a moment with one decision or even the prospect of just the possibility of getting help.