Drinking in Moderation
Do you have someone close to you that may be suffering from an alcohol abuse problem? Even if it is drinking a little too much from time to time, you can be dealing with an underlying addiction problem.
Alcohol abuse begins when a person is regularly drinking much more than what is considered normal. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this is 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks for men. This abuse does not signify the need for alcohol rehab. It is when the abuse cannot be controlled that addiction can develop into an issue.
An alcohol abuse problem can also be classed as binge drinking, which is drinking 5 or more alcoholic beverages in a relatively short period. The CDC estimates that 1 out of every 6 adults Binge drinks an average of 4 times a month. This is common among adults 18-34, and also in seniors over 65. They also estimate that more than half of the liquor consumed by the United States is in the form of binge drinking. This type of behavior also does not make a person alcohol dependent. It is when the frequency becomes daily and other problems arise when it can be an addiction concern. We would like to help you better understand the differences and signs of alcoholism.
Addiction is developed when the individual loses their ability to suppress or stop drinking. The desire or craving exceeds other responsibilities and actions. Alcoholism is a chemical dependence of the body and mind to alcohol. There are many negative aspects to this dependence. Most specifically is a dramatic and dangerous withdrawal process that occurs when not drinking. This is when professional help and an alcohol treatment program should be sought out, when the individual can no longer control their consumption or intake.
Difference Between Alcohol Abuse & Addiction
Alcohol abuse and addiction are separate things. An indicator that a person is not addicted is the ability to go back and drink in moderation. What is drinking in moderation? The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence does not have a definite definition, but it is the ability to lessen ones drinking to that of a lower risk of dependence. Such individuals can binge drink on occasion and show no signs of an alcohol use disorder. (NCADD Facts About Alcohol)
However, there are others who will struggle. What's the difference between someone who abuses alcohol and someone who is dependent? The reasons for this is also not easily discernable, but can be attributed to a number of factors. These include, social influences, physical and mental situations, genetics and even diet. The majority of individuals can drink and even abuse it on occasion without developing dependence. But there are a percentage of those in the population (estimates are about 10-14% of those that regularly consume alcohol) that will struggle with the bottle and can be diagnosed as having an addiction.
Is the Alcohol Abuse a Problem?
Abuse and binge drinking is not necessarily an addiction, but it is very much an indication. People drink to excess all the time and they can take it or leave once the hangover is gone. However, others can develop a real problem when it comes to alcohol. But in circumstance these individuals can have other concerns that fuel the desire to drink. It can stem from social concerns, personal trauma or mental health issues. When the drinking becomes a frequent thing, a problematic thing, this is when one should seek professional assessment for an alcohol addiction.
Ask yourself some questions about your alcohol drinking:
- Do you think you drink too much or should cut back?
- Do others express concern at the amounts you drink?
- Do others criticize your behavior when you drink?
- How often are you drinking during the day or week?
- Do you need to drink in the morning just to get through the day?