While occasionally indulging in excess isn't necessarily a sign of alcoholism, “social drinking” can be more problematic than we realize. It's not just our physical health that suffers. Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol can have a profound effect on our mental health. Alcohol withdrawal results from a shock to the nervous system due to sudden changes in alcohol levels; symptoms may include headaches, anxiety, tremors, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
They describe the typical trajectory of alcoholism to reveal the constant decline in social consumption to chronic alcohol. Alcohol use can begin in adolescence, but alcohol use disorder most often occurs between the ages of 20 and 30, although it can begin at any age. Most people struggling with alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), took months or years to reach that point. Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to receive treatment because they don't recognize that they have a problem.
If they regularly rely on alcohol as a coping mechanism, can't endure a social gathering without a drink, or need alcohol to relax, this could be a sign that they are in the pre-alcoholic stage. If you're worried about someone drinking too much, ask a professional with experience in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach them. Women also end up with higher blood alcohol levels than men who receive the same amount consumed, probably due to sex differences in the way alcohol is broken down and distributed in body tissues. However, alcohol can have serious consequences for women, as they are more sensitive to the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver, heart, and brain.
Unhealthy alcohol use includes any alcohol consumption that jeopardizes your health or safety or causes other alcohol-related problems. Learn about treatment options for alcohol addiction, including detoxification, behavior modification, counseling, and medications. This is why moderating alcohol consumption is so difficult and most addicts who try to quit smoking on their own end up relapsing, and eventually require professional treatment to overcome their addiction. Treatment for alcohol addiction teaches you more about the nature of your condition and gives you the tools you need for long-term recovery.
If they don't stop drinking, they continue to progress to the point of alcohol dependence and eventually to the point of chronic alcohol use. Those who start using alcohol as a tool someone uses to relax after a long day, strengthen themselves in social situations, or help them fall asleep move on to the next stage of alcoholism. The stages of alcoholism are a useful tool to help determine the progression of alcoholism, but they are by no means a rule.