Not all alcohol abusers develop into full alcoholics; however, there is a distinct link between the two and, as tolerance increases, addiction can take hold. To prevent abuse and ultimately, addiction, it helps to recognise the signs and symptoms. These include:
- Regular neglecting of responsibilities (i.e. at home, work, or school)
- Repeated legal problems due to alcohol abuse
- Continuing to drink in the knowledge that it is causing problems
- Drinking as a way to relax
- Drinking is dangerous situations (i.e. when driving or operating heavy machinery).
These signs indicate that an alcohol problem is heading towards alcohol addiction, where symptoms will include:
- A greater tolerance to alcohol
- Withdrawal symptoms (i.e. headaches, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and shakiness)
- A loss of control over drinking
- A want to quit, but can’t
- Alcohol becoming a priority.
If you see any of these signs in yourself, you may have a problem with alcohol addiction; however, it is important that you look at your situation honestly. Denial is one of the greatest obstacles in getting treatment for alcoholism and often results in the worsening of a problem until help is too late. Alcohol dependence is a completely treatable problem, but you will need help along the way.