Alcoholism is when your body is completely dependent on alcohol. You cannot control your drinking and you continue to drink despite its negative effects on your life.

What are the symptoms of alcoholism?

  • A need to drink
  • Needing an increasing amount of alcohol to get the same effect (tolerance)
  • Drinking alone or drinking in secret
  • “Blacking out” – not remembering things you did when you were drinking
  • Losing interest in old hobbies and interests
  • Feeling guilty about drinking
  • Getting angry when others comment on your drinking habits
  • Drinking as soon as you wake up
  • Having 5 or more drinks per day (for a man) or 4 or more drinks per day (for a woman)

What are the risk factors of alcoholism?

  • Drinking over time on a regular basis
  • Age – the earlier you start drinking, the more likely you are to develop alcoholism
  • Men are more likely to be alcoholics than women
  • Family history of alcoholism
  • Mental health problems – depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc

What are the treatment options for alcoholism?

  • Detoxification – sometimes done with the assistance of other medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms
  • Creating a treatment plan – setting goals and changing current behaviors
  • Counseling – either individually or with family support, improving your psychological health can prevent a relapse
  • Residential rehabilitation – for help with the most serious alcohol problems
  • Self-help groups: Alcoholics Anonymous takes you through a 12-step guide to staying sober

What are the withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism?

  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Confusion
  • Hallucination