What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol dependency is a condition in which the person craves alcohol and feels that they cannot live without it. Alcohol addiction can develop into alcohol dependence, where withdrawal symptoms occur when alcohol use ceases or lessens. There are many types of treatment for alcohol abuse including group therapy, individual counselling, hypnotherapy and medication.
People can become addicted to alcohol without realising its happening. It can start with a few glasses of wine every day, or drinking alcohol every weekend and before you know it alcohol has become a regular part of your life.
Alcohol is addictive because it affects the brain’s reward pathways, often making people feel pleasure when they drink enough alcohol to produce an effect. Alcohol abuse can cause various problems that affect your health including liver disease or heart ailments. It can also affect your relationships with friends and family.
The signs of alcohol addiction vary and depend on the person’s alcohol usage, but it’s usually identified by feeling that alcohol is getting in the way of life and relationships. You may be drinking more than intended or keep drinking when it would be better to stop. Other alcohol abuse sign could include:
- Feeling a need for alcohol as soon as possible after waking up
- Wanting alcohol all the time without regard for when or where it is consumed
- Drinking alcohol to get rid of a negative feeling such as anxiety, depression, or guilt
- Continuing to drink alcohol despite consequences like job loss, health problems, legal troubles
Alcohol addiction and alcohol dependency are two terms that can sometimes be used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Alcohol dependence is a chronic condition whereas alcohol addiction refers to the compulsive need for alcohol over other activities or needs in life. The person may not want to stop drinking even when it’s clear their alcohol consumption has serious consequences. The body is physically dependent on alcohol and begins to have withdrawal symptoms if alcohol is abruptly stopped, such as tremors.