• Alexander James

What Are The Signs Of Alcohol Dependence?

At this time of year, many of us review our lifestyles and try to make changes for the better. One of the most common resolutions is to drink less alcohol. Research proves that giving up or reducing alcohol intake can improve our physical and mental health, giving us more energy and an improved outlook on life.

Many people have a difficult relationship with alcohol, because they associate it with happy memories of spending time with friends, or just use it to wind down after a long hard day at work. So when is the tipping point where drink stops being a useful aid to socialising and relaxing, and becomes a threat to health and wellbeing?


Red flags include being unable to control how much you drink, as once you have had one glass, inhibitions are lowered, and that can lead to two or three, and more. Drinking more often, and being unable to resist an impulse to have a drink, are also signs that you may be developing an addiction.

Unfortunately, the more we drink, the more alcohol we need to reach that sweet spot that makes us feel good, or even just normal, as the body builds up a tolerance. If you are becoming secretive about your drinking habits, and hiding bottles in strange places, then this is a sign that you need to question your intake.

What can be done about alcohol addiction?

The first and hardest step is admitting that you or a loved one has a problem. If the stage has been reached where physical symptoms such as vomiting, sweating and shaking are apparent, it’s necessary to seek medical attention.

There are also many self-help tools and community groups available for phycological support. Some people find that counselling or online mindfulness therapy helps them gain insight and perspective on their drinking, and provides them with the tools to modify their behaviour.

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