The most commonly misused drug is alcohol, but because it is legal and the majority of people use it occasionally its detrimental effects are often overlooked. It becomes very easy for people to justify a drinking problem because they only do it socially or it is “something everyone does”. But if drinking goes from being moderate to heavy, the impact on a person’s life can be very severe.
The first sign of an addiction to alcohol is tolerance. If you drink on a regular basis you will undoubtedly have noticed that the more you drink, the more alcohol it takes to make you feel drunk. But it cannot be your only basis for determining whether you have an alcohol problem, and you also need to consider the following indicators:
* Being unable to function in certain situations without having an alcoholic beverage.
* Drinking every day (you should aim for a minimum of two alcohol free days per week).
* Withdrawal symptoms.
The latter can sometimes be dismissed as a hangover – and indeed that will often be all it is. But if it happens regularly or the effects are so bad that you end up reaching for more alcohol to soothe the symptoms, then it is likely that you have a dependency. A problem drinker may also experience severe withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, shaking or even convulsions. By the time a drink problem is this serious, the person is normally aware that they need help.
So where can you find the necessary help to give up alcohol? Numerous studies have shown that a person is more likely to become tee total if they have outside help. Therefore, you should seek advice from a drug treatment center or your family doctor. They will have treated many people in your situation, and will not judge. A support group also works well for many people.