What is alcohol dependence? Alcohol dependence is a progressive addiction that involves symptoms such as cravings, loss of control, physical dependence, and tolerance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there 88,000 alcohol-related deaths every year.
When a person has a dependency on alcohol, they crave it all of the time when they are not drinking. Almost every episode of drinking turns into a binge or a bender. In addition, both the body and mind cannot function without alcohol. If a person goes too long without drinking, they will experience withdrawal symptoms.
Lastly, a person who is dependent on alcohol has built up a tolerance to its psychological effects due to prolonged use – typically months or years. For those who can’t quit drinking on their own, a South Florida alcohol detox center like Summit Detox can help.
What is Alcohol Dependence?
Dependence develops from long-term alcohol abuse. However, alcohol abuse is not necessarily alcohol dependence or addiction. A person can experience isolated instances of abuse without going full-on into addiction or dependency. What abuse signifies is that a person either doesn’t know their limit or lacks control when they do drink.
What abuse does not signify is that a person develops a pattern that continues and gets worse over time. Sometimes, the individual feels like they want to cut loose. The problem with abuse is that it can have devastating consequences, including the potential for addiction. South Florida detox programs can begin to undo the damage.
Classic Symptoms of Dependency
While addiction is not always easy to identify, by the time an individual becomes dependent on alcohol, they almost always demonstrate the following symptoms.
They Only Want to Drink Alcohol
A person who is addicted to alcohol eventually narrows their drinking choices. They no longer want to drink anything else, perhaps even limiting their drinking to a certain type of alcohol or a brand.
They Only Go to Events Where There is Drinking
If there is no alcohol at an event, the addicted person quickly loses interest. They may even sneak alcohol to the event so that they can sip a flask while no one is watching.
Consumption Has Increased Exponentially
Someone who is dependent on alcohol may be drinking twice as much now as they did six months ago. They need five shots of whiskey to get the buzz they once enjoyed with just one shot.
The Withdrawal Symptoms Are Severe
The addicted person may have tried to quit three or four times after asking, what is alcohol dependence. However, the withdrawal symptoms are too uncomfortable or painful. They can’t seem to get through the initial detox process, so they relapse time and again.
Drinking to Cope or Medicate
When life gets stressful, the individual may turn to alcohol as a means of relaxing or dealing with the situation. They have no other coping mechanism other than to drink.
Stop Drinking Today. Get Help from Summit Detox
If you find yourself asking, what is alcohol dependence, you may be ready to seek help. Let us be the support system you need. Summit Detox offers full detox facilities, medication-assisted treatment, a caring staff, and 24/7 monitoring for addiction. We can help you get through the first step of your recovery. Call us today at 866.341.0638 for questions about the detox admissions process.