Alcohol Abuse Vs. Dependence

Some people frequently abuse alcohol without developing a physical or psychological dependence to it; however, they too can benefit from treatment for alcoholism recovery. Binge drinkers, for example, may be fine with going for weeks or even months without a drop of alcohol, but when they do drink, they have trouble stopping themselves from consuming far too much. This type of abuse can have many consequences, including health, social, and legal problems.

A dependence on alcohol is somewhat different. People with alcoholism have intense cravings for it, and this can cloud their thinking in everyday situations. They may be unable to focus at their jobs or in school. They might also experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they go without alcohol. These symptoms can include shakiness, anxiety, and cold sweats. The combination of cravings and withdrawal often leads chronic alcoholics to drink at inappropriate times and places, such as first thing in the morning or before work.

People who are addicted to alcohol require large amounts of it to feel drunk, as their tolerance to it increases because of frequent use. They typically have trouble controlling their intake, too. “Just one more” often leads to several more. Alcoholics with limited funds may choose to pay for beer or liquor rather than electricity, food, or rent.

If you or someone you know might need help with alcohol abuse or dependence, please call us to explore treatment options and discuss alcohol addiction recovery.