Drinking moderately is not a concern and problem for most adults. However, when you reach a point of getting out of control, you may have entered a road to addiction.
According to the NIAAA (the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), more than seventeen million American adults have this particular disorder. By checking here, you can visit NIAAA’s official website.
Besides, teens between twelve and seventeen years of age also have alcohol use disorder, which is problematic. Of course, you should know that an addiction process is not something that will happen after one drunken night.
We are talking about long-term abuse, which is a vital consideration to remember.
It is vital to learn the symptoms and signs of each stage of alcoholism, which will help you determine when to stop and seek help before entering a point of severe addiction and dependence.
- Occasional Binge Drinking and Abuse
The initial stage of alcohol-abuse disorder comes with experimentation. We are talking about drinkers that are trying different forms and testing their limits. It is a common problem that affects teens and young adults.
Therefore, most of them engage in binge drinking, which means that they do not drink every day, but consume large amounts at once. Binge drinking is:
- For Women – Four or more drinks within a few hours
- For Men – Five or more beverages within a few hours
Of course, this is just a theoretical explanation because, in practice, experimental drinkers tend to exceed this particular amount. This is something that regularly happens to teens that enjoy going to parties and drink with each other.
Even though most people think that binge drinking is not problematic if you do it from time to time, you should remember that this perception is not accurate.
Generally, when you decide to drink large amounts of alcohol at once, it can be perilous and lead to coma and even fatality. You may also become dependent, which means that you will increase the frequency of these episodes.
- Increased Drinking
After reaching an experimental stage, you will know how much you can consume to get drunk and which type you prefer the most. Therefore, you will start to drink at parties, but at times, you will do it each weekend.
Due to increased consumption, you will find numerous excuses, including:
- To deal with loneliness and sadness
- Out of boredom
- To reduce stress
- Excuse enjoying with your friends
Moderate drinking is not like regular alcohol consumption. The main reason for that is because you will create an emotional attachment to it. An average drinker may choose to consume a glass of wine with each lunch or dinner.
On the other hand, regular drinkers will consume it to feel better than before. As they increase drinking, they will become more dependent and at higher risk of severe levels of alcoholism.
Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylnlXgwCkbM to learn more about this particular type of addiction.
- Problem Drinking
Uncontrolled and frequent alcohol consumption will lead to a problem drinking stage. Even though this particular type of abuse can lead to severe problems, you should know that a problem drinker is someone who experiences the effects of this specific habit.
You may become more anxious, depressed, or start losing sleeping patterns. You may get sick frequently due to heavy drinking, but enjoy the effects and continue doing so.
Most people on this stage are more likely to drink and drive, leading to serious legal issues and troubles. Besides, other social changes are related to this particular problem, including:
- Difficulty being with strangers
- Change in friends
- Decreased social activity
- Erratic behavior
- Relationship problems
You should know that entering a point of alcoholism comes with two facets: dependence and addiction.
You can become dependent on it but not addicted. Dependence is a higher stage than problem drinking because you will have an attachment to alcohol that became a part of your life.
Even though you are aware of adverse effects, you won’t have control over consumption. Dependence means that you have developed high tolerance, which means that you can consume large quantities, which will increase as time goes by.
Another vital characteristic is withdrawal you will experience as you sober up. You will notice symptoms such as:
- Racing heart
- Trouble sleeping
We recommend you to check out top health info to learn how to fight alcohol addiction.
The final stage includes addiction, which means that you won’t drink for pleasure, but because of a need. People with addiction require this particular substance all the time, which will lead to compulsive behaviors and behavioral changes.