Alcoholism, commonly referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder, is a condition/disease that is diagnosed when someone has an extremely unhealthy relationship with alcohol. It is characterized by a loss of control over drinking habits: having cravings when not drinking, staying drunk for long periods, spending a substantial amount of money on alcohol, and a strong desire/obsession to drink alcohol.
One of the clearest symptoms of alcoholism is the onset of physical withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. If you’re an alcoholic you’ll probably need a to drink increasingly larger amounts to get the same effects that you once did with less. That is, your tolerance to alcohol has risen.
Drinking when you wake up in the morning, hiding it from your loved ones, lying about how much you or how often you drink, avoiding events where drinking isn’t allowed, or drinking prior to going out anywhere are also very good indicators that you may be suffering from alcoholism.
People struggling with alcoholism will often feel like they cannot function/live normally without consuming alcohol. This will inevitably lead to many problems that can impact their professional and personal lives, relationships, and overall health. Serious side effects can ensue from consistent alcohol abuse.
Once you’re an alcoholic, stopping drinking isn’t as easy as waking up and pressing the off button. Alcoholism is a disease and needs to be taken seriously and managed accordingly. It is very difficult to manage on your own. Regaining control of your life can require an alcohol detox to clean your body of toxins and an alcohol rehab program to deal with the psychological aspects of addiction.