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Alcohol Dependence vs Abuse: When is drinking too much and when is drinking an addiction?

Maybe you had a crazy night out with friends, fueled by many alcoholic drinks. Maybe you attended a party and consumed so much alcohol you don’t remember anything. If something like this happens more than once, is it a problem? Does drinking like this lead to addiction? What is alcohol dependence versus alcohol abuse?

 

Searching for answers to these questions or reaching out for support should never be discouraged. Pacific Bay Recovery Drug Treatment Center can help, www.pacificbayrecovery.com. Thanks to significant advances, there are a variety of treatment methods, and Pacific Bay Recovery Treatment Center can create a plan to treat both the body and the mind.

 

How Much Can You Drink?

Many adults drink moderately, without complications. Recent research even touts modest health benefits from alcohol consumption. For women, low-risk drinking is defined as no more than three drinks a day, not to exceed more than seven drinks per week. For men, it is no more than four drinks a day, with no more than 14 drinks per week.

An estimated 16.6 million Americans have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD

When is Drinking Dependence or Abuse?

An estimated 16.6 million Americans have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), which includes a range of mild, moderate and severe alcohol problems. AUD is identified by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over drinking alcohol, and a negative emotional state when not drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) There are several questions to ask to determine when to seek help:

 

  • Experienced drinking more or for extended periods of time than intended?
  • Tried to stop drinking or cut down, without success?
  • Experienced a strong need to drink?
  • Spent a great deal of time seeking relief from the aftereffects?
  • Has drinking, or becoming sick from drinking, interfered with taking care of home or family, or caused job or school problems?
  • Continued to drink even though it caused trouble with family or friends?
  • Skipped activities, or reduced participation in things important to you or that gave you pleasure, to drink?
  • Experienced unsafe situations more than once while or after drinking (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in dangerous areas, or having unsafe sex)?
  • Increased drinking to achieve desired effects or found the usual number of drinks less effective than before?
  • Continued to drink even when depressed or anxious, or adding to another health problem or after experiencing a memory blackout?
  • When the effects of alcohol wear off, experienced withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating, or even sensed things that were not there?

If you have any of these symptoms, this may be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you experience, the more urgent the need is to change.

A health professional at Pacific Bay Recovery Drug Treatment Center,  www.pacificbayrecovery.com, can provide a formal assessment of your symptoms. Ultimately, receiving treatment improves chances of success and provides a better path to enjoy life.

Sources:

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/niaaa-recognizes-alcohol-awareness-month-2015

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders

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