he Path From Heavy Drinking To Alcoholism
Not all alcohol abusers become full-blown alcoholics, but it is certainly a big risk factor. Sometimes alcoholism develops suddenly in response to a stressful change, such as a breakup, retirement, or another loss. Other times, it gradually creeps up on you as your tolerance to alcohol increases. If you’re a binge drinker or you drink every day, the risks of developing alcoholism are even greater. But whether or not alcohol abuse turns into alcohol addiction, many of the problems will be the same.
Signs and symptoms of alcoholism (alcohol dependence):
Alcoholism is the most severe form of problem drinking. Alcoholism involves all the symptoms of alcohol abuse, but it also involves another element: physical dependence on alcohol. There’s a fine line between alcohol abuse and alcoholism, but if you rely on alcohol to function or feel physically compelled to drink, you’ve crossed it.
Tolerance: The 1st major warning sign of alcoholism
Do you have to drink a lot more than you used to in order to get buzzed or to feel relaxed? Can you drink more than other people without getting drunk? These are signs of tolerance, which can be an early warning sign of alcoholism. Tolerance means that, over time, you need more and more alcohol to feel the same effects you used to with smaller amounts.