What Is the Path to Alcoholism?
Drinking has always been a part of Canada’s society. It is thus not surprising that alcoholic drinks are considered to be the most widely-available and damaging legal drugs. In fact, billions of dollars have been lost due to alcohol-related accidents, crimes, health care and lost workdays.
Alcohol has become a constant element in many activities and occasions. Because people tend to turn to alcohol to ensure a good time, it has become difficult to identify the line between drinking socially and having a drinking problem. Obviously, it is important for a person to recognize if he is on the path towards alcoholism in order to address the problem as early as possible.
Alcohol Abuse to Alcoholism
A person can be abuse alcohol without being an alcoholic. Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is actually characterized by a person who continues to drink despite recurring social, interpersonal and legal problems resulting from the alcohol consumption.
Although symptoms of alcohol dependence are almost identical to alcohol abuse, there are also some marked differences, including:
- Preferring to drink only one type of alcoholic beverage
- Attending social events, which include drinking
- Choosing to socialize with people who also drink
- Drinking to treat a hangover
- Craving alcohol all the time
- Having difficulties sticking to their decision to quit drinking
In addition, alcoholism is believed to be the final and most severe form of a drinking problem. If a person has started relying on alcohol to feel confident, happy and even physically okay, it is likely he has crossed the very thin line separating alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.
One of the earliest warning signs you are headed towards alcoholism is when you have started to drink more than your friends without getting drunk. And the reason you drink more is that the amount of alcohol you regularly consume no longer gives you a buzz. All these are indicative you are exceeding your alcohol tolerance level.
Another red flag which should warn you of increased risk for alcoholism is if a person has started to experience withdrawal symptoms. And to relieve these symptoms, the person will only need to consume alcohol, and he immediately feels better. Withdrawal symptoms are actually signs given by your body to inform you of the absence of alcohol into your system. Among the most common are sweating, trembling and nausea. Other signs you are in the throes of full-blown alcohol addiction include losing control over your drinking, inability to stop drinking and giving up other activities to drink.
If you or someone close to you is exhibiting any of these signs of alcohol dependence, you should immediately seek professional help and even an alcohol residential treatment program can be the best solution. Remember that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards the path of recovery.