Alcohol is a very subtle drug. It’s associated with so many good times and happy occasions, wedding toasts, family get-togethers and nights out in the pub with friends.
This is why alcohol dependency can creep up on anybody at anytime. NHS estimates show that just under one in ten men in the UK (8.7%) and one in twenty women (3.3%) show signs of alcohol dependence.
Everybody thinks they know what an alcoholic looks like but very few people think they could ever need alcohol in a similar way.
Like most addictions, alcohol dependency works on a spectrum. Some people can be mildly dependent on one extreme where they can’t imagine a Saturday night without going out and having a few drinks. Then there are people at the other end are reliant on alcohol and become mentally and physically reliant on it. Nothing is more important to them than their next drink.
There are many varied reasons why people become dependent on alcohol. There can be a genetic factor, family attitudes and examples of behaviour, environment, using alcohol to deal with stressful events can also trigger heavier drinking which can easily lead to alcohol dependence.
Here are five prominent but subtle signs of an alcohol dependency:
Wake up, drink up
Thinking about the next drink from the moment you open your eyes on a morning or even feeling the need to have a drink there and then is one of the first signs of an alcohol dependency.
Some people try to refrain from drinking because they know that they cannot stop at one or two drinks. Once the dam of willpower is broken, they are compelled to drink and won’t or can’t stop.
I’ll go if drink will be there
Some people love parties and catching up with friends to chat, swap stories and see other people. For someone with alcohol dependency, these events are also great camouflage and a chance to drink and keep the party going. Soon they are planning their social life entirely around the opportunities to have a drink rather than catching up with their closest mates.
I never get a hangover because I never stop drinking!
Anybody who’s every drank will have a story about suffering a bad morning after but it’s worse for people with alcohol dependency. Apart from suffering the physical withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking and sickness or nausea, they know the only way to hold these back is to keep drinking. The worse the symptoms, the more they have to drink to keep them at bay.
Hair of the black dog
Alcohol is a depressant and people with alcohol dependency are more vulnerable to anxiety, depression and dark, suicidal feelings than most. This is because their intake of alcohol is higher and a regular high intake can lead to the neurotransmitters in their brains being impaired by heavy drinking. They literally are not thinking straight because alcohol has hijacked their higher senses.
Recognising that someone might have an issue with alcohol is the first sign to getting help and overcoming it. Ana Treatment Centre specialise in drug and alcohol rehab in Surrey and would be an excellent first stop on the road to recovery and breaking the strong hold alcohol dependency has their life and the lives of their closest friends and family too.