Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances. Whether it’s on college campuses, in private homes, at parties or other social situations, drinks are part of the experience. Most adults can handle these situations. However, some can’t and end up struggling with alcohol dependence.
How Does Alcohol Dependence Differ from Alcohol Abuse?
Do you believe that you or a loved one might have a problem with alcohol use? As a general rule of thumb, alcohol abuse relates to overdoing it. Drinking too much or too often are typical red flags. Binge drinking, which is a common form of abuse on college campuses, is another example.
The hallmark of binging, however, is the fact that you can stop and not repeat the process the next day. Dependence, on the other hand, is an inability to stop, and you feel compelled to drink again the next day. Not only is it impossible to control the “when” of your next drink, but you also can’t control “how much.”
The Development of Tolerance and Psychological Dependence
Alcohol dependence is a multi-faceted condition. It’s simplistic to suggest that all people struggling with addiction follow the same pattern. However, it usually starts by developing a high tolerance. While society calls it “holding one’s liquor well,” it really means that your body gets accustomed to a typical dose.
Like other drugs, you now need to increase the dose for the same result, which is the first sign of addiction. At this point, psychological dependence begins playing a significant role. Do you believe you need a drink to loosen up, relax after work, or fit in with friends? Do you use alcohol to gather the courage to talk to the opposite sex?
You now begin to connect drinking with your ability to do something that you desire. In reality, you’re on your way to a psychological dependence. From there, it’s a small step to a physiological alcohol addiction. In this scenario, the body reacts with withdrawal symptoms if you neglect to ingest your standard dose.
Getting Help at Any Stage is Possible
Overcoming a psychological, physiological, or dual dependence is possible with a targeted addiction treatment protocol. Effective modalities include:
- Around the clock medical care during the detox phase
- Intensive individual counseling to help you understand the reason behind the addiction
- Group counseling, which helps you form peer bonds for future relapse prevention
- Exercise opportunities with personal trainers to regain optimal physical health
- Holistic care, which includes yoga, meditation, spiritual support, and acupuncture
Treating the whole person, rather than just the addiction, is the best recipe for helping individuals overcome addiction. At Ashley Addiction Treatment, therapists do exactly that. If you or a loved one has crossed the line from alcohol use to dependence, there’s help. Call 866-313-6307 and get help today.