Many people in the United States drink casually without a problem. But casual drinking habits can turn into addictive habits. If addictive drinking habits are continued long enough, alcohol dependence can happen.
Knowing the signs of alcohol dependence can help you or a loved one get treatment and return to a life of sobriety.
Signs Of Alcohol Dependence In Others
If you know someone who’s struggling with alcohol dependence, signs are going to appear. It doesn’t matter how hard that person tries to hide those signs, some will peek through from time to time. The more time you spend with them, the more likely you are to see some of those signs.
Some of those signs include:
- Increasing alcohol consumption
- Losing control of how much they drink
- Giving up once loved activities
- Starting to drink early in the day
- Making excuses for their drinking
- Missing work, school, or important events because of drinking habits
- Memory loss
It’s also possible for someone with an alcohol dependence to ask for money, transportation, or other resources so they can obtain the alcohol he or she needs. Because drinking is a normal part of life for some people, this may not be cause for alarm. But if they’re not able to get to those resources fast enough, some may turn to theft in order to purchase what they believe they need. Others seem always “on the edge” when they cannot get alcohol. This and other risky behaviors, including drinking and driving, can get them into legal trouble if they haven’t gotten into that trouble already.
Signs That You Have An Alcohol Dependence
Along with the above signs, you’re going to see signs of alcohol dependence in yourself that others may not notice. Part of those signs includes withdrawal. When you become dependent on any substance, you’re going to experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Often a hangover is a precursor to withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol dependence withdrawal symptoms include:
- Increased Blood Pressure
Mild withdrawal symptoms will start appearing 12 hours after you stop drinking. More severe withdrawal symptoms will show up two to five days after your last drink. It can take a few weeks for your body to normalize once withdrawal has started.
In addition to withdrawal, you may find it difficult to set limits on your drinking. For instance, you say you’re only going to have one drink, but you end up drinking way more every time. Along with drinking earlier in the day, you may start drinking while alone or start sneaking liquor into public spaces like work or school. Hiding how much you’re drinking is also a sign that there may be a problem.
How To Help Yourself Or A Loved One Struggling With Alcohol Dependence
If you or a loved one has developed a dependency to alcohol, addiction treatment is necessary. There are many reasons why drinking problems develop and attempting to stop drinking without properly addressing those problems can lead to relapse.
At Steps To Recovery, we’ll provide you or your loved one with programs, addiction experts, community, and connection. We understand that everyone who needs help with dependency is unique. That’s why we get to know each of our clients in an intimate way before their treatment even starts. Our understanding of their goals, personal issues, family, and friends allows us to create an effective treatment schedule that will guide each client to lasting sobriety.