People can develop unhealthy behaviors that are tied to alcohol. It could be due to the stress in your life or a reaction to a traumatic event. At what point does a temporary crutch become a real problem. It helps to understand the difference between alcohol abuse vs. addiction. Once you have a better idea of what differentiates the two, you can decide whether you may need more in-depth treatment to deal with your alcohol issues.
Rockland Treatment Recovery Center provides addiction treatment services to those seeking help for various disorders. You can choose to participate in a residential stay or take part in one of our other programs, including:
- Partial Hospitalization Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Drug Addiction Treatment Program
- Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Program
What is Alcohol Abuse?
Those who turn to alcohol for their issues, also known as problem drinkers, do not have a physical dependency on alcohol. They can go for days or even weeks without needing to take a drink. Abstaining from alcohol consumption does not result in any form of detox. The lack of a physical need for alcohol is the main difference between alcohol abuse vs. addiction.
The biggest issue for problem drinkers is that when they do drink, it negatively impacts their lives. They may drink to the point where they say cruel things or lash out physically at others. Problem drinkers may get behind the wheel of a car and end up hurting themselves or someone else.
Other ways that problem drinking can affect you negatively include:
- Causing feelings of depression
- Making you miss work or school
- Lead to avoidance of friends and family
- Isolating yourself to be free to drink alone
- Wasting money on alcohol, leading to financial problems
- Heightens your inclination toward risky behavior
Problem drinkers may get defensive when questioned about their drinking. You might try to “prove” that you are ok by not drinking for an extended period. However, all your problems may come right back the moment you start consuming alcohol again.
What is Alcohol Dependence?
People with alcohol dependency have an addiction. It’s difficult for them to get through the day or even a few hours without having a drink. Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to changes in a person’s brain that causes a physical need for alcohol. That is the main thing people should understand about alcohol abuse vs. addiction.
The following characteristics are typical in those who are dependent on alcohol. You may have a problem with alcohol dependency and need an alcohol addiction treatment program if you experience one or more of the following:
- Increased alcohol tolerance — You find yourself needing to consume larger amounts of alcohol to feel any effect.
- Withdrawal — You may experience physical symptoms like tremors, mood swings, and insomnia whenever you attempt to stop drinking.
- Feel constant cravings — You find yourself yearning for a drink all the time.
- Are unable to cut back on drinking — You may tell yourself that you’re only going to have one beer and end up consuming a six-pack. Or you drink an entire bottle of wine you meant to share with others.
Be honest about your current experiences. By acknowledging your problem’s depths, you can help differentiate whether the issue you are dealing with is alcohol abuse vs. addiction.
The Importance of Getting Help
When it comes to alcohol abuse vs. dependency, both can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. You must admit that you have a problem before you can start working on moving forward. Consulting with an addiction specialist can give you more insight into whether any treatment should be geared toward working on a problem with alcohol abuse vs. addiction.
Learn more about Rockland Treatment Recovery Center and the services we offer by calling 855.732.4842.