When Regular Drinking Becomes an Addiction

Drinking alcohol is a regular occurrence for many adults. In fact, studies show that more than half the adults in the US have had an alcoholic beverage in the last month and almost 90% have had one at some point in their lives. With drinking so prevalent, it can be difficult to tell when drinking alcohol moves past the stage of casual enjoyment and into the realm of alcohol abuse, or alcoholism.

Because alcoholism is a serious problem – one that can impact your ability to perform at work, be present in relationships, and keep yourself and others safe – it is important to know the signs of addiction. Realizing you may be having a problem with alcohol can help you get the support you need earlier on, before it becomes a more extensive and hard to manage problem.

Signs of Alcoholism

There are a few reasons alcoholism is difficult to notice. First, it can happen to anyone. Men and women of almost any age and social class can have a dependency on alcohol. At some ages, especially college, frequent drinking is commonplace.

Becoming addicted to alcohol also tends to happen gradually. It may start as just occasional binge drinking, or drinking to get through a social situation. From there it can increase to drinking more often and in greater amounts until it starts impacting your daily routine, your work, your relationships, and your health. In the final stage of alcoholism, an addiction to alcohol means that you have both a mental and physical need to drink in order to function. 

Being aware of these early signs can help you determine if you may have become reliant on alcohol, as opposed to drinking casually:

  • Having a craving for alcohol.
  • Choosing to drink instead of fulfilling other priorities. 
  • Being unable to control the amount of alcohol you drink in a sitting
  • Drinking when you wake up.
  • Drinking alone or trying to hide your drinking from others.
  • Not wanting to engage in activities you used to find enjoyable.
  • Not being able to handle certain situations or problems without first drinking.
  • Performing dangerous tasks such as driving while drinking.
  • Experiencing physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Alcohol addiction is a mental health condition. This makes it very difficult for you to control it on your own, even once you are aware you have a problem. Having the support of a psychiatrist and other professionals can help make the process of recovery easier to achieve.

At Aware Behavioral Health, we offer alcoholism treatment in Dallas to help you stop your dependency on alcohol and embrace healthier coping mechanisms and lifestyle choices. If you’ve been struggling with alcohol, addiction, or another mental health condition, call us today to learn how we can help.

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