People with alcohol addiction (also known as ‘alcohol dependency’ or ‘alcoholism’) will have a strong urge to drink and will find that they are consistently unable to stop once they have started. As well as this they will experience some of the following symptoms:
- Drinking to cope with stress, problems or to suppress emotions
- Increased tolerance to the effects of alcohol
- Frequent memory lapses after a night of drinking
- Family and friends criticise and comment on their drinking
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Reaching for a drink in the morning or early in the day to steady their nerves or to cure a hangover
- Running into problems at home, at work or with the law which are directly or indirectly related to their alcohol abuse
- A desire to cut down with unsuccessful attempts at this
- Most of the person’s time is spent planning the next drink, abusing alcohol and recovering from the side effects
- Social activities, hobbies and work appointments are reduced
- Frequent excuses to justify their alcohol abuse or related behaviour
How Can I Stop Drinking?
Millions of people around the world have found help from Alcoholics Anonymous. You can visit their website and find where your nearest meeting takes place. We also strongly recommend visiting your GP and talking to them about your symptoms and any health complications you may have noticed.
Abstinence is the only way a person can truly get their life back and help their body recover from the damaged caused by long-term alcohol abuse. In order to get sober and stay sober many alcoholics will need treatment in a residential rehabilitation centre where there is access to 24-hour medical care, supervised detox and a daily routine of individual counselling and group therapy sessions.
Our phonelines are open 24 hours a day. Call to speak to a therapist about your alcoholism treatment options.
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 10, 2020