Alcohol Dependency

Alcohol Dependency: How to Recognize and Manage a Dependency

Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency are two different things, and although it can be hard to tell the difference, they require two different approaches. A dependency on alcohol is a serious issue, and can result in serious health problems which can lead to life-threatening addiction.

Alcohol dependency is usually caused by a combination of genetic, environmental and psychological factors, but it often starts with a decision to drink. Once drinking has become habitual, the decision to stop can be much harder.

If you’re worried that you or someone you know may have become dependent on alcohol, it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms.

Symptoms of Alcohol Dependency

The symptoms of alcohol dependency can range from mild to extreme, and can vary depending on the individual. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • A strong craving or urge to drink
  • Increased drinking tolerance
  • Inability to stop drinking, even when desired
  • Anxiety, depression and isolation
  • Difficulty functioning without alcohol
  • Legal, financial and social problems
  • Physical withdrawal symptoms when sober

If you or someone you know is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek help. The sooner you get help, the better the chances of a successful recovery.

How to Manage Alcohol Dependency

Managing alcohol dependency requires support from a medical professional, family and friends, and sometimes professional addiction counselors. There's no single treatment for everyone, but here are some common approaches:

  • A detoxification program to help reduce physical symptoms and withdrawal.
  • Counseling and therapy to work through emotional issues.
  • Medical care to help monitor and control physical symptoms.
  • Group support meetings to discuss common challenges.
  • Medications to manage cravings and symptoms.

If you’re struggling to manage your alcohol dependency, you don’t have to go through it alone. There are many resources available to help you get the support and treatment you need.