A New Direction for Women and Men™

Recovery Education

The Truth About AlcoholismAm I an Alchoholic

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Alcohol Use Disorder

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol Dependence

Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol Abuse

Signs You May Have A Drinking Problem

Alcohol Addiction

Signs You May Have an Alcohol Addiction

Am I An Alcoholic?

Alcohol Use Disorder

An estimated 18 million Americans suffer from some form of alcohol use disorder. This estimate may encompass varying degrees of alcohol abuse.

However ongoing alcohol use brings about the same effects regardless of the stage of use. Continuing drinking despite consequences would make you a disordered drinker.

Alcohol use disorders are medical conditions that grow progressively worse over time. Once alcohol starts to negatively impact a person’s life, the “disorder” aspect is at work. The definition of alcohol use disorder has to do with alcohol’s physical effects on the body and the subsequent changes in behavior and lifestyle that result.

What was once a distinction between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, has now become a single diagnosis.

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder include:

  • Persistent cravings
  • Inability to control intake amounts
  • Physical dependence
  • Increasing tolerance levels

These symptoms grow worse the longer a person continues to abuse alcohol and in  time obtaining and drinking alcohol starts to take precedence over daily obligations and responsibilities.


Alcohol Dependence

Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence encompasses:

  • Physical dependence
  • Compulsive drinking behaviors
  • Inability to control intake amounts

Someone who abuses alcohol isn’t necessarily alcohol dependent.  However someone who is  diagnosed as alcohol dependent definitely abuses alcohol on a regular basis.

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is a mild to moderate drinking problem that is characterized as problematic drinking that is not accompanied by the presence of physical dependence.

This does not mean that there will not be or can not be serious consequences as a result of alcohol abuse. Those who suffer from alcohol abuse usually are able to control their drinking to some extent. However they still tend to take part in destructive behaviors that can pose a significant risk to themselves and to others when they are under the influence of alcohol.

Signs You May Have A Drinking Problem

  • Drinking more than you tell yourself or someone you love you will drink, especially despite your intention to drink less.
  • Feeling as though you need to drink in order to relax, or have fun or be part of a group.
  • Feeling ashamed of your drinking, yet you drink anyway.
  • Feeling guilty about your drinking, yet you drink anyway.
  • Hiding your drinking habits.
  • Telling others that you don’t drink or that you drink less than you do.
  • Causing family upset, worries or other problems as a result of your drinking.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a more severe problem that often results from alcohol abuse. Alcohol addiction resembles alcohol abuse in many ways except that consequences of Alcohol addiction are more severe and they are combined with a physical dependence on the alcohol. This depenency makes it difficult for the addict to stop drinking even when they want to.

Signs You May Have an Alcohol Addiction

Step One of the 12 steps

  1. Struggling to control use of alcohol is an addiction issue.
  2. Difficult to relax without having a drink is an addiction issue.
  3. Drinking first thing in the morning or after you first wake up is an addiction issue.
  4. Planning social events around drinking is an addiction issue.
  5. Drinking while driving, using heavy machinery or other dangerous situations is an addiction issue.
  6. Missing work or school excessively due to drinking is an addiction issue.
  7. Putting important relationships with family and loved ones at risk is an addiction issue.
  8. Experiencing black-outs after drinking is definitely an addiction issue.
  9. Withdrawal symptoms: You wake up in the morning, and feel shaky? If you feel shaky or unwell until you have a drink, this is a  sign of a physical dependence on alcohol and is an addiction issue.
  10. Tolerance: A long term use of alcohol will lead to the need for more and more alcohol in order to have the same affect. Tolerance results when an individual needs more alcohol in order to get drunk and is an addiction issue.
  11. You’ve thought about the negative effects that your drinking is having on your life and decided to quit but you find that you keep drinking? You’ve try to quit drinking  and  are consistently unsuccessful in your efforts. You have an addiction issue.