Alcoholism is used to describe a situation where an individual has developed a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. This person is no longer drinking simply because they like to engage in this behavior. If they don’t drink they will begin to feel unwell, and they will also have a compulsion that drives them to keep engaging in this type of substance abuse. Once a person has become an alcoholic they will never be able to regain control over their drinking. Their only option is complete abstinence.
The symptoms of alcoholism include:
- The individual experiences increased tolerance for alcohol. This means that they have to drink more in order to get the same effects.
- The alcoholic has a strong compulsion to drink.
- They will often drink more than they intended to.
- They are likely to experience blackouts. This refers to a type of amnesia that people can experience when they drink too much.
- They may try to hide the extent of their drinking.
- Drinking alone.
- They will experience withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to significantly reduce or quit alcohol.
- The individual deliberately sets out to become intoxicated.
- Feelings of guilt about their drinking.
- They will become irritable if there is no alcohol available at a time when they would normally drink.
- Lack of interest in activities that do not involve alcohol.
- Drinking alcohol before going to a party.
- Hiding alcohol around the home.
- The individual continues to drink even when alcohol is causing problems in their life.
- They alcoholic will repeatedly neglect their responsibilities because of alcohol.
- This individual struggles to reduce their alcohol intake.
- They feel uncomfortable if they do not have access to alcohol.
- Legal problems as a result of drinking.
- Financial problems as a result of drinking.
- Relationship problems as a result of drinking.
It is not necessary for people to have all these symptoms in order for them to be considered an alcoholic.