Health Blog

How do you know if you’re addicted to alcohol?

Are you suffering from an addiction problem or are you an alcohol abuser? Here’s how to tell the difference between the two.

Alcohol addiction is a huge problem in the UK and beyond. Part of this problem lies in how readily available alcohol is. It is sold in many shops throughout England, Wales, NI, and Scotland. It is also sold at affordable rates and to anyone over the age of 18. Many shops won’t even check your age or ID unless you look under 25.

Alcohol support charities in the UK estimates that only 18% of all alcohol addicts ever seek help from the NHS. That leaves 82% of all addicts still out there, not receiving the help that they need. With the statistics stacked against you, how do you know if you are addicted to alcohol? We investigated to sort out the stigma.

What is alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction as being unable to go through your life without drinking. It could be that you drink every night after work. It could even be that you drink every Friday and Saturday night. When you start to have an alcohol addiction, you are unable to say no to a drink.

If you are going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms regularly, then you probably need to think about cutting back. Some examples of alcohol withdrawal symptoms include mild symptoms like shaking and sweating. The signs of alcohol withdrawal get more and more intense all the way up to possible cardiac arrest, delusions and hallucinations.

There are two types of relationship with alcohol which are worrisome. The first is to become an alcohol addict and the second is to be an alcohol abuser.

What is alcohol abuse?

People who binge drink alcohol at the weekends are on a dangerous path. We call this type of binge drinking alcohol abuse. You can abuse alcohol without being an addict. However, if you routinely abuse alcohol, you will eventually develop an addiction.

Alcohol abusers routinely drink excessive amounts of alcohol and one sitting. The National Health Service in the UK recommends that you drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. An alcohol abuser will regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol in one night. Not everyone who is an alcohol abuser has an alcohol addiction. The most common type of alcohol abuser is the student during freshers’ week or the teenager who has newly discovered alcohol.

What you can do if you think you are an alcoholic?

In the UK you can seek help for an alcohol addiction through the National Health Service. To do this, you should first visit your GP. Your GP will outline a strategy which will help you to cut down and ultimately stop drinking. This will likely involve being seen as an outpatient before they transition you into outpatient treatment at a private rehab clinic.

However you choose to go about, you should seek help for alcoholism. The sooner you do it, the easier it will be to quit drinking and get back on track. The longer you leave your alcohol addiction, the harder it is to overcome.

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