Alcohol Dependence Vs Alcohol Addiction
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, dependence is a state in which the brain functions normally only in the presence of a drug. Within hours or a few days of having their last drink, people dependent on alcohol will experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms that may include hand tremors, nausea or sweating.
Addiction to alcohol, however, is a disease characterized by a compulsion to drink and an inability to control ones alcohol intake. People who are dependent on alcohol are often addicted to the substance, but it is possible to be dependent and not addicted.
While the American Psychiatric Association used to separate alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence into two distinct disorders, both are now categorized into a single diagnosis called alcohol use disorder. An alcohol use disorder, which can range from problem drinking to alcoholism, can be classified as mild, moderate or severe, depending on a persons symptoms and drinking behaviors.
You Are Isolating Yourself
If youre noticing that youre staying in more, this can be a sign of addiction. If youre spending more time alone because youre consuming the drug and wrapped up in the experience, this is a sign of addiction. Perhaps you dont want your family and friends to know about the drug use, and youre seeing them less.
Often you might get new friends who drink or use, and you feel more comfortable around them. Essentially, you may be changing your lifestyle to accommodate drinking alcohol or using drugs.
A part of a healthy life is having healthy people around you, and addiction will slowly remove the healthy people in your life, to make room for those who more closely match your new lifestyle. Patricia Sullivan, MD MPH
Other Signs And Symptoms Of Alcoholism
Youve lost control over your drinking. You often drink more alcohol than you wanted to, for longer than you intended, or despite telling yourself you wouldnt.
You want to quit drinking, but you cant. You have a persistent desire to cut down or stop your alcohol use, but your efforts to quit have been unsuccessful.
You have given up other activities because of alcohol. Youre spending less time on activities that used to be important to you because of your alcohol use.
Alcohol takes up a great deal of your energy and focus. You spend a lot of time drinking, thinking about it, or recovering from its effects. You have few if any interests or social involvements that dont revolve around drinking.
You drink even though you know its causing problems. For example, you recognize that your alcohol use is damaging your marriage, making your depression worse, or causing health problems, but you continue to drink anyway.
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How Do I Know If I Am Addicted To Drugs Or Alcohol
Knowing if you are addicted to drugs is not always something you will notice until someone points it out, or you have a sober moment/realization. However, there is a noticeable line between enjoyable activity and activity that is fueled by a possible addiction. Drug and alcohol abuse on college campuses is problematic, and many students do struggle with the issue. Moreover, most college students will chalk this up to only having a good time and partying being part of college life. Once you start to place importance on consuming drugs and alcohol, you should start to realize you may be addicted. If you realize you are drinking more and consuming more drugs, you may have placed a higher priority on drug and alcohol use. There is a reward response when doing drugs or alcohol, and if this makes you feel better or in more control, this means you rely on drugs or alcohol.
Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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Signs You Are Addicted To Alcohol And Where To Get Help
According to the Centers for Disease Control , two-thirds of American adults aged 18 and older consume alcohol each year. Alcohol is legal for anyone over the age of 21 to purchase and a socially acceptable substance in the United States. However, just because it is socially acceptable and popular doesnt mean it isnt addictive. But how do you know if your drinking has gotten out of control or if you need professional help? Here are 3 tell-tale signs you are addicted to alcohol and where you can go for help in the Boston area.
Unable To Quit Or Cut Back
People who have become addicted may experience intense cravings for alcohol. These can be very overwhelming, and cravings can arise from a response to a variety of thoughts and feelings. The cravings for alcohol are the strongest when beginning recovery. Often, people experience a tug of war between the part of their brain that wishes to quit drinking and the part that wants to still feel the pleasures of alcohol. If you find yourself unable to quit or cut back your drinking, you might be becoming addicted to alcohol.
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How Do You Know If You Have Alcohol Addiction
Its not always easy to tell if you have an alcohol addiction. After all, most people drink socially and dont think anything of it. However, there are some tell-tale signs that you might be addicted to alcohol. If youre wondering if you might have a problem, read on for some red flags.
One of the biggest signs that you might be addicted to alcohol is if youre unable to stick to set limits. For example, maybe you told yourself that you would only have two drinks at the party, but you end up drinking way more than that. Or, maybe you said you would only drink on weekends, but you find yourself drinking during the week as well.
Other signs that you might be addicted to alcohol include feeling like you need to drink in order to relax or have fun, being unable to remember what happened when you were drinking, or making a lot of excuses for your drinking. If any of this sounds familiar, its worth considering getting help for your addiction.
How do you know if you have alcohol addiction? Its a difficult question to answer, because alcohol addiction can manifest in many different ways. There is no one definitive answer. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that may suggest that you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction. If youre worried that you or someone close to you may have an alcohol problem, look out for the following signs and symptoms:
Drinking more alcohol than intended or desired
A strong craving or urge to drink
Financial Benefits Of Quitting Drinking
While it may seem difficult or impossible, quitting drinking is achievable. Along with regaining control of your life, there are financial benefits to abstinence that can help you save more money daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Americans spent around $249 billion on alcohol in 2010.14 Per person, that breaks out to about $807 a year.14 However, that number is likely much higher for binge drinkers and heavy alcohol users since they are consuming considerably more drinks per day than the average consumer.
To calculate how much money you spend on alcohol, online tools such as an alcohol spending calculator can be helpful in seeing how much you could potentially be saving by quitting drinking. For example, if you drink 7 days a week and 5 drinks a day at $8 a beverage, youre likely spending around $280 a week, $1,213 a month, and $14,560 a year. With what you could be saving a year, it could mean a new car, vacation with your loved ones, or used for unexpected expenses that may arise in the future.
While exact amounts may vary, below are some rates you can expect to incur if charged with a DUI:15
Altogether, a first-time DUI offense could potentially cost an individual anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 when all is said and done.
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Alcoholism
There are various warning signs to help detect potential alcohol abuse. While many signs are recognizable, others may be more difficult to identify. Also, the severity of alcohol abuse may play a role in the warning signs a person exhibits. For example, some people try to cover their alcohol abuse by drinking in private and isolating themselves from others. This makes it challenging for family members or friends to intervene and help their loved one.
Mild alcohol abuse can be easily overlooked. However, what may appear as a minor issue can turn dangerous over time. These early warning signs should not be ignored. Seeking treatment sooner rather than later will allow you to get back to the things you enjoy most in life.
Online Counseling for Alcohol Addiction
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How Long To Kick Alcohol Addiction
Its not easy to say how long it will take to kick an alcohol addiction. It depends on how long youve been drinking, how much you drink, and other factors. If youre committed to quitting, though, there are things you can do to improve your chances of success.Here are a few tips:1. Set a quit date and stick to it.2. Tell your friends and family about your decision to quit.3. Avoid situations where youre tempted to drink.4. Find alternative activities to replace drinking.5. Seek professional help if you need it.If youre struggling with an alcohol addiction, remember that youre not alone. There are many people who have successfully kicked the habit. With commitment and effort, you can make it happen too.How long does it take to kick an alcohol addiction? It really depends on the person and the severity of their addiction. Some people may be able to quit drinking cold turkey, while others may need to detox and go through a rehabilitation program. There are a few factors that can affect how long it takes to break an alcohol addiction, such as:
The severity of the addiction
Whether the person is a heavy drinker or a light drinker
The persons age
Any underlying mental health conditions
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Behavioral Signs Of Alcoholism
People who are addicted to alcohol show certain behaviors while intoxicated. These short-term signs generally arent exclusive to alcohol abuse. This is important to keep in mind when ruling out other potential causes, like mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. While drinking alcohol is considered socially acceptable, long-term addiction to alcohol is not. People who are addicted to alcohol behave differently as they start to try to hide their drinking from loved ones.
Short-term behavioral signs of alcohol addiction include:
Long-term behavioral signs of alcohol addiction include:
- Drinking before socializing or engaging in other anxiety-producing situations
- Denying they have a problem with alcohol
Do You Have A Drinking Problem
Its not always easy to tell when your alcohol intake has crossed the line from moderate or social drinking to problem drinking. Drinking is so common in many cultures and the effects vary so widely from person to person, it can be hard to figure out if or when your alcohol intake has become a problem. However, if you consume alcohol to cope with difficulties or to avoid feeling bad, youre in potentially dangerous territory.
Other signs that you may have a drinking problem include:
- Feeling guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
- Lying to others or hide your drinking habits.
- Needing to drink in order to relax or feel better.
- Blacking out or forgetting what you did while you were drinking.
- Regularly drinking more than you intended to.
The bottom line is how alcohol affects you. If your drinking is causing problems in your life, then you have a drinking problem.
Drinking problems can sneak up on you, so its important to be aware of the warning signs of alcohol abuse and alcoholism and take steps to cut back if you recognize them. Understanding the problem is the first step to overcoming it and either cutting back to healthy levels or quitting altogether.
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Signs Of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is best known in its white powder form. Most often, this drug is snorted, smoked, or injected. As cocaine is a stimulant, one of its hallmarks is that its main effects wear off around 30 minutes to 2 hours after the last use. In addition to the general signs of drug abuse discussed above, cocaine has some specific side effects, including:
- Increased energy
- Fast white lady
As Medical News Today discusses, cocaine is highly addictive and the strongest natural occurring stimulant in existence. Cocaine addiction is associated with dramatic personal losses there are reports of professionals spending $20,000 to $50,000 on cocaine binges, parents selling their children, and people becoming unemployed, having to file bankruptcy, and ending up homeless. It is clear that cocaine use can spiral out of control. For this reason, the earlier the abuse is intercepted, the better.
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Whats The Difference Between Casual Drinking And Alcohol Abuse
Lets start with casual drinking. Unless you have religious or personal restrictions, a few drinks with friends or a glass of wine with dinner is usually not an issue. The problem starts, though, when you begin abusing the substance.
Many people use the terms alcohol abuse and alcoholism interchangeably. However, alcoholism refers to alcohol addiction or dependence, where the individual has a physical or psychological compulsion to drink alcohol. Alcohol abuse refers to a pattern of behavior where a person drinks excessively in spite of the negative consequences.
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How To Approach A Loved One About Their Drinking
Navigating addiction is tricky. It can be difficult to know how to provide the best chance for facilitating help. As a family member, friend, or significant other, it can often feel like it is your responsibility to take care of that person and make sure that they get the help they need. The road to recovery can be long and sometimes frustrating for both parties involved. When results arent immediate, recovery can be discouraging.
When it comes down to it, people will only get clean and sober when they want to. People who are forced into treatment often relapse because they never wanted to get sober in the first place. It has to be their decision. That being said, there are things that you can do to help someone with an addiction to alcohol:
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Social And Health Consequences
- Have you ever overdosed or needed emergency medical treatment as a result of substance abuse?
Addiction to drugs or alcohol often leaves individuals unable to take care of themselves and can lead to a number of health issues. Answering yes to any of these questions can signal that you have a substance addiction.
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Find Out More About Alcohol Addiction And What You Can Do To Help Yourself Or Someone You Know
A 2021 poll by The Recovery Village found physical health , mental health , and relationships to be the most common negative impacts. Drinking also impacted peoples careers, parental abilities, finances, hygiene, and legal status.
It wont be an easy road ahead, but someday you will be very grateful for putting in the work.
At LifeWorks NW, we help people find the resources they need to learn more about their health concerns, and to get the help they need.
A note on language: while its still common to use the word alcoholic, at LifeWorks NW we shy away from it. Research shows that the term is associated with a strong negative bias, and our mission is to help people struggling with substance use with compassion and understanding. By using language that emphasizes a person is not their disease, we can help fight against the stigma that keeps so many people from seeking out treatment.
Connect with us today and talk to one of our supportive staff members. Were here to listen, and to help you get what you need.
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Drinking Problems And Denial
Denial is one of the biggest obstacles to getting help for alcohol abuse and alcoholism. The desire to drink is so strong that the mind finds many ways to rationalize drinking, even when the consequences are obvious. By keeping you from looking honestly at your behavior and its negative effects, denial also exacerbates alcohol-related problems with work, finances, and relationships.
If you have a drinking problem, you may deny it by:
- Drastically underestimating how much you drink
- Downplaying the negative consequences of your drinking
- Complaining that family and friends are exaggerating the problem
- Blaming your drinking or drinking-related problems on others
For example, you may blame an unfair boss for trouble at work or a nagging wife for your marital issues, rather than think about how your drinking is contributing to the problem. While work, relationship, and financial stresses happen to everyone, an overall pattern of deterioration and blaming others may be a sign of trouble.
If you find yourself rationalizing your drinking habits, lying about them, or refusing to discuss the subject, take a moment to consider why youre so defensive. If you truly believe that you dont have a problem, you shouldnt have a reason to cover up your drinking or make excuses.
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