While most people can control their alcohol consumption, others become addicted. They need help to end their dependence on alcohol. According to the definition of alcohol abuse, several issues can increase the risk of developing a problem. These include the person’s genetics and mental health problems as well as social and cultural factors.
Definition of Alcohol Abuse
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the definition of alcohol abuse depends on your gender. For men, consuming 15 or more drinks per week is considered heavy drinking. The amount for women is eight or more drinks.
Some signs of alcohol abuse are easy to spot, such as driving or operating dangerous equipment while drunk. Other red flags include work, school, or personal responsibilities suffering due to excessive drinking. The definition of alcohol abuse also includes blacking out or memory loss.
Your family, friends, and co-workers may have shared concerns about your actions, especially if you’re neglecting your health or endangering others. Other signs of abuse include drinking to reduce stress or to relax even though alcohol is the reason for your personal problems.
Causes of Alcohol Dependence
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, genes linked to addiction increase a person’s risk for the condition. A person with a family history of alcohol abuse has a greater risk for addiction. Family members and friends who regularly drink alcohol can influence others to drink too much. Heavy drinking can lead to changes in brain chemicals and reduce the ability to control your emotions. People with mental issues, including depression and anxiety, often use alcohol to lessen the symptoms of their condition.
Have You Crossed the Line?
To find out if you have crossed the line between social drinking and abusing alcohol, you must look at the way you use alcohol. Abusing alcohol is a serious issue because the habit can lead to alcoholism. Many alcoholics continue to drink even though they know that it’s causing medical issues or making an existing medical condition worse.
Alcohol dependence often causes permanent damage to the liver, brain and nervous system. Individuals with drinking problems may also have financial, legal, and personal problems. It’s important to know and recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse so that you can get the help you need to overcome the problem. Help in the form of drug and alcohol addiction treatment can include:
- On-site 12-Step program meetings
- Alcohol rehab
- Residential inpatient treatment
- Partial hospitalization program
Do You Need Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment?
If you recognize the symptoms of alcohol abuse in yourself or someone you love, it’s vital to seek help immediately. Call Serenity Lodge today at (855) 932-4045.