LittlePeopleLogo     Alcohol Dependence

What are the symptoms?

Alcohol dependence takes many forms, including intermittent drinking, continuous drinking, and binge drinking. Many alcoholics become able to drink ever larger quantities of alcohol before feeling or appearing drunk. Alcohol users commonly medicate themselves with alcohol, using it, often daily, to help them relax, as a confidence booster, or in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Behavioral symptoms of people who are dependent on alcohol may include:

Physical symptoms may include:

How is it treated?

You must stop drinking alcohol. Your doctor can help you quit drinking and recover from alcohol-related disorders. Psychological therapy and social programs will also contribute to your recovery. It might help if family members are included in your treatment program.

How long will the effects last?

Alcoholism doesn't go away. You may feel a need or desire for alcohol throughout your life. One of the most important aspects of alcohol counselling and treatment is to learn the behavior patterns that usually cause you to start drinking. Recognizing these patterns and changing them is important. It is important not only to help you stop drinking, but because these behavior patterns affect other family members, especially children. If you do not change your behavior, you increase the chances that members of your family will become dependent on alcohol themselves.

If you stop drinking, related health problems can often be controlled or prevented. However, severe damage, such as injury to the liver or pancreas, may be permanent and possibly fatal.

How can I take care of myself?

Make sure you seek medical help. Successful recovery from alcohol dependence almost always requires the help and support of others. Make sure you get this support. People and resources in your community that can help you include your physician, pastor, Alcoholics Anonymous, mental health centers, and local or regional alcohol or substance abuse treatment programs.

Follow your doctor's advice for treatment of any other medical problems. Avoid situations where alcohol is consumed.

You should also work to improve your general health. Eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise are important parts of being healthy.