The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence estimates that 1 in every 12 adults in the United States is dependent on alcohol. The affected individual may be unaware of the depth of his or her dependence on alcohol. Their state of denial may prevent them from seeing the signs that indicate an addictive dependence on alcohol is occurring. Sometimes, a friend or family member is the best person to call attention to the behaviors and consequences that indicate a serious dependency and an immediate need for treatment.
Depending on Alcohol to De-stress
A continuing reliance on alcohol to manage stress is one of the hallmarks of alcohol dependence. The individual may be the first to drink during lunch, at business dinners, after work, when they get home, or at any opportunity where they can use alcohol to lower stress levels. Unfortunately, the increased drinking generally leads to greater hiding problems and stress in their lives, which drives even further into dependency. These individuals can benefit from inpatient treatment that allows them to unplug from their circle of dependency and find new ways of coping with work, family, and other issues.
The drive to keep drinking to stabilize the person’s mood and condition become the overriding concern. Work responsibilities may be neglected. Family responsibilities may take a back seat. Social obligations become entangled with the need to keep drinking. The inability to keep up with duties and responsibilities leads to loss of employment, financial problems, divorce, and bankruptcy.
Continuing To Drink Even When It Causes Problems in Relationships
Alcohol dependence can cause ongoing stress in family relationships because of the hiding, lying, covering tracks, recovering from drunkenness, loss of employment, financial pressures and legal problems that also occur because of the condition. However, even the increasing disputes with family and friends cannot stop the progress of the dependency.
Drinking Causes Legal Problems
Legal problems often occur as a result of alcohol dependence, such as:
· Driving under the influence convictions
· Getting into fights while under the influence
· Domestic disputes
· Accidental injury of others while under the influence
When these incidents continue to occur, they are significant signs that alcohol use has reached a dependency stage.
Tolerance to Alcohol Increases
The amount of alcohol needed to “feel normal” begins to increase until the pursuit of an opportunity to have a drink throughout the day begins to take up more time and energy than other tasks.
You Keep Drinking Despite Health Problems or Other Negative Consequences
Another sign of dependence is guilt about drinking or the need to keep drinking even when you know it is making a significant impact on your health, causing disruptions in your relationships, and tearing your life apart in other ways. The individual becomes helpless to stop and requires the focused treatment of an inpatient facility to get their lives back on track.
Withdrawal Symptoms Appear When You Don’t Drink
Signs of withdrawal begin to appear when you attempt to stop or cut down your drinking. Sweating, shakiness, anxiety, and stomach distress may occur which cause you to resume drinking to avoid the discomfort.