The use of alcohol doesn’t always become a major problem. Some people drink alcohol from time to time without ever developing an issue. But, others fall into unhealthy binge drinking habits. Others become totally dependent on alcohol, struggling to manage and function without using alcohol. This dependence can become a reality in a person’s life before the individual even realizes it. That’s why it’s so important to understand and recognize alcohol dependence symptoms. If you drink often or no someone else who does, it can be helpful to know how to identify the signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence and abuse. As you learn more about this matter, you’ll also learn how to approach the situation in the best way possible. Substance dependence is a serious matter. And the more you know about it, the better!
What is Alcohol Dependence?
Simply put, alcohol dependence is the physical or emotional reliance on alcohol. Many people suffer from this problem. Alcohol is a legal substance and is, therefore, easily accessible. It isn’t very likely that a person will grow to rely on alcohol after drinking it only once or twice. In a lot of cases, people develop alcohol dependence as a result of constant alcohol consumption. So, when a person begins to drink a lot more often, he or she may start to feel the need to drink for various reasons. The person may drink in order to enjoy a social gathering. Or, the individual may drink in order to fall asleep at night. Sometimes, people may start drinking an excessive amount of alcohol in order to feel better about a stressful situation or to “unwind” after a long day. If the person isn’t careful, these habits could eventually lead to dependence.
Alcohol dependence, sometimes known as alcoholism, is very dangerous. When a person depends on alcohol, it means that the person’s body struggles to function without this substance. As a result, the individual may drink far too much far too often. This can lead to negative behavioral changes, loss of coordination, and many other issues. Some people who become dependent on alcohol have a difficult time focusing on the things that are important, such as family responsibilities, work, school, and so forth. So, the effects of substance dependence extend farther than the person’s physical state. Alcoholism also impacts people’s social, professional, and emotional lives. Now, let’s talk about some of the most common alcohol dependence symptoms. Keep in mind that alcohol use affects people in different ways. But, if you notice any of the symptoms in your life or the life of a loved one, it’s best to seek professional help.
Look Out for These Alcohol Dependence Symptoms
Again, excessive alcohol use can have an impact on people in many different ways. Alcohol dependence symptoms can be seen in various areas of a person’s life. These areas include the behavioral, emotional, physical, and social areas of the individual’s life. A person may be dependent on alcohol if he or she:
- Drinks to cope with stress and pressure.
- Drives while under the influence of alcohol.
- Has tried to stop drinking but hasn’t been able to do so.
- Drinks alcohol first thing in the morning or just before bed.
- Has a hard time thinking about anything but alcohol use.
- Has become withdrawn from family members and friends.
- Suffers from memory problems and other cognitive issues.
- Has lost interest in activities that were once important to him or her.
- Has trouble keeping up with responsibilities because of alcohol use.
Have you seen any of these alcohol dependence symptoms in your life or in a friend’s life? If so, then it’s time to get professional assistance. Contact us here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services to find out how we can help.