Alcohol Addiction Advice | Alcoholism vs. Alcohol Abuse

Consuming alcohol on a regular basis in order to feel good or to avoid feeling bad could lead to alcohol abuse and possibly even alcoholism. Both alcoholism and alcohol abuse can sneak up on you, and it is important to know the warning signs of each – alcohol abuse does not always become alcoholism. There are certain factors, some environmental and some genetic, that determine this path.

The first step in overcoming this path is to understand the problem and here is some great alcohol addiction advice.

In many cultures drinking alcohol is common, and because the effect of alcohol on people varies and it is often difficult to determine where the line between social drinking becomes alcohol abuse and sometimes even alcoholism. A good code to follow here is: If your drinking is causing problems in your personal or work life, there is a strong chance you have a drinking problem.

There are many interconnected factors when it comes to determining alcoholism and alcohol; genetics, how you were raised, social environment, and even your emotional health. Some people who have a family history of alcoholism or who associate closely with heavy drinkers are more likely to develop drinking problems, and those suffering from mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or something else are at risk because they use alcohol to self-medicate.

Great Questions To Ask Yourself

My alcohol addiction advice to you is to consider these questions:

  • Do you need to drink in order to relax or feel better?
  • Do you lie to others or hide your drinking habits.?d
  • Do you regularly drink more than you intended to?
  • Do you have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking?
  • Do you “Black out” or forget what you did while you were drinking?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you could have a problem with drinking.

Distinctions Between Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

There is a distinction between alcoholism and alcohol abuse. People who abuse alcohol often times have the ability to set limits on drinking, but their alcohol use is considered self-destructive and dangerous to themselves and others. Alcoholism is a severe form of problem drinking. Alcoholism involves the symptoms of alcohol abuse as well as the physical dependence on alcohol.

Here are some common signs of alcohol abuse:

  1. Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking.
  2. Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous.
  3. Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of your drinking.
  4. Continuing to drink even though your alcohol use is causing problems in your relationships.
  5. Drinking as a way to relax or de-stress.

Here are some common signs of alcoholism or alcohol dependence:

  1. Tolerance, which is increasing the amount of alcohol you consume to have the same desired effects.
  2. Withdrawal, which are physical signs when there is an absence of alcohol. Signs such as: Anxiety or jumpiness, Shakiness or trembling, Sweating, Nausea and vomiting, Insomnia, Depression, Irritability, Fatigue, Loss of appetite, and Headache.
  3. You’ve lost control over your drinking.
  4. You want to quit drinking, but you can’t.
  5. You have given up other activities because of alcohol.
  6. Alcohol takes up a great deal of your energy and focus.
  7. You drink even though you know it’s causing problems.

What’s the Next Step?

My alcohol addiction advice to you is to find alcohol treatment of some sort. There are many effective alcohol treatment options available; inpatient, outpatient, and alcoholics Anonymous.

4 thoughts on “Alcohol Addiction Advice | Alcoholism vs. Alcohol Abuse

  1. Tod

    My dad is a bit of crap alcohol. The alcoholics anonymous “Big Book” compares
    alcoholism to an allergy in addition to illness. Am I the only person who is stating “huh?! ” You
    have to CONSUME in order to become the alcoholic, whereas contracting most
    forms of illness, (with the exception of STD’s, lung cancer induced from smoking cigarettes, etc . ) are contracted through no fault of the person stricken using the illness. My father didn’t have to start drinking, he made a decision to.

    1. Recovery Rob Post author

      Dear Tod;

      Thank you for the comment, and I’d have to say on the surface it can be confusing for someone who is not an alcoholic/addict. In my opinion, the Big Book is about helping people find their own road to sobriety. Whether they come to the conclusion that their addiction is an illness, an allergy, a disease, or destiny it doesn’t necessarily matter in the long run. The mere fact is that you can not use alcohol safely without a lot of craziness. So, accepting the fact you are an addict can be much easier than looking for someone or something to blame for it.

      As for your father making the decision to drink? well, generally speaking most addicts make a choice to drink or use drugs that first time, however it is the compulsion that takes over after that, and that makes it harder to get sober. Compulsions can stem from childhood traumas and using alcohol and drugs were a way to get through that trauma.

      My suggestion, for you, if are asking is to attend a few Alanon Meetings. You might learn a few more things on what makes the addict tick,and it will surely give you a different perspective on your dad and his disease/illness/allergy.


  2. Bob Piercy

    Each time the addict checks into another short term recovery
    center and relapses, the sense of failure deepens and the sense of hope
    of ever recovering fades. These include children and
    adolescents, pregnant women, alcoholics in recovery, individuals with certain medical conditions,
    and those who cannot limit their intake of
    alcohol. The doctors, counselors, medical therapists need to
    have substantial experience and competence.

  3. Saul Seldon

    Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work. According to Gelder, Mayou & Geddes (2005) alcohol abuse is linked with suicide. They state the risk of suicide is high in older men who have a history of drinking, as well as those suffering from depression.

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