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The Early Signs of Alcohol Dependence

When people have unhealthy drinking habits like drinking too often or too much, they put themselves in a dangerous position that could lead to them becoming an alcoholic, dependent on alcohol to get by.

People with alcohol dependence are physically or mentally addicted to alcohol, and the result of this disease can be devastating. There are some early signs of alcohol dependence that can help you know if it’s time to seek help for yourself or a loved one.

Drinking Alone

People who used to drink socially but have begun drinking alone exhibit signs of an alcohol dependence. These people may give up on other social activities that they used to enjoy, and instead spend their time drinking in private. They may feel that they need to drink in order to deal with their emotional problems, or to simply feel happy.

Increased Tolerance

People who are becoming dependent on alcohol build up their tolerance to it at the same time. They need more and more to feel the same level of intoxication they are used to. They can drink considerably more than their peers of similar size.

They can sometimes appear to not be drunk even after consuming large amounts of alcohol. According to Rod Gregory, an Edmonton DUI lawyer, this can be especially dangerous because others are unaware of their level of intoxication and may allow them to drive or operate machinery while under the influence of alcohol.

In the mornings, those with high alcohol tolerance may not experience a hangover, even after consuming an excessive amount of alcohol the night before.


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People who become dependent on alcohol are often in denial about the fact. They will deny that they need alcohol, and rather frame it as a lifestyle choice when they drink.

Those who are dependent on alcohol often lie to themselves about their situation as well, not admitting that they are in need of help. When questioned about their drinking habits, they often become defensive, and eventually begin lying about how much and how often they drink.

Withdrawal Symptoms

A clear sign that a dependence on alcohol has formed is when a person experiences withdrawal symptoms in the absence of alcohol. If someone who is dependent on alcohol abstains from drinking, they will often experience stomach upset, sweating, uncontrollable shakiness, and extreme anxiety.

If you believe that you or someone you care for is becoming dependent on alcohol, it’s important to seek treatment immediately. Reach out to friends and family, Alcoholic Anonymous, a crisis hotline or a health care provider for guidance on how to get better.

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