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Alcohol Addiction Information Guide

Alcohol addiction can lead to devastating consequences in your relationships, it can cause you to miss work or even lose your job, you may suffer legal troubles including DUI or public intoxication and you could suffer from physical complications as a result of the disease. Because alcohol addiction is a progressive disease that tends to get worse quite rapidly, the need for treatment is often initially overlooked until such consequences have already taken their toll. Fortunately, there are treatment and rehabilitation programs that can help with alcohol addiction.

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Continued use of alcohol despite known consequences and despite a desire to stop using is considered an addiction. Alcohol dependence includes physical and / or mental aspects of addiction to alcohol that may be marked by a strong desire or craving to drink, a “need” to drink just to cope with pain or stress or to get through the day, and an inability to stop drinking or to control the amount of alcohol consumed despite a desire to do so.

You may be suffering from alcohol addiction if any of these problems are a part of your life regularly or if at least 3 of the problems have occurred in the previous year:

  • Inability to quit drinking despite a desire to
  • Inability to control amount of alcohol consumed, drinking until all of the alcohol is gone
  • Tolerance or the need to drink more alcohol in order to produce the same effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety, sweating or upset stomach when you stop drinking
  • Spending time drinking instead of taking part in other activities that used to be important such as spending time with family or playing sports
  • Attempting to quit drinking or to cut back on drinking but failing at the task
  • Drinking despite known consequences within your relationships
  • Drinking despite known physical complications that are or have occurred
  • Drinking despite known legal troubles such as past DUI or other legal complications

When is a Drinking a Problem?

The easiest answer to this question is that anytime your drinking is causing problems in your life—it’s a problem! Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that is not the result of weakness or a lack of willpower. It can affect anyone and does not take stereotypical sides. Alcohol addiction affects the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the educated and the undereducated alike. It can be difficult to recognize when a standard will to drink has become a full-fledged alcohol addiction unless you take a step back.

Your drinking is a problem if it is causing problems in your life legally, financially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, economically or otherwise. Furthermore, you are putting yourself at risk of becoming addicted to alcohol if you:

  • Are a man who drinks more than 4 drinks at a single sitting or who consumes more than 14 alcoholic beverages in a week
  • Are a woman who drinks more than 3 drinks at a single sitting or who consumes more than 7 alcoholic beverages in a week

For the above scenarios, a single alcoholic beverage is considered one can of beer (a bottle is typically the equivalent of 1.5 cans), a glass of wine (typically 6 oz. or less) or one shot (some mixed drinks have 1.5 shots or have single shots of various liquors in them and are the equivalent of more than a single drink).

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