Sometimes people believe that they're only abusing alcohol when they're really alcoholics. You'd be surprised how often this occurs. Prior to committing to rehab for alcoholism, it can be helpful to know the difference between alcohol abuse and addiction.
What is Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse occurs when someone drinks too much, but doesn't feel compelled to drink regularly. Incidentally, most people think they are alcohol abusers, and not alcoholics. Some of the signs of alcohol abuse include:
- Drinking alcohol to the point that it interferes with work or life in general.
- Drinking alcohol even though you know you'll have to drive.
- Experiencing blackouts after drinking too much alcohol.
- Drinking in spite of health conditions that could make drinking harmful.
- Experiencing accidents or injuries after drinking.
What is Alcohol Addiction or Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is very different from alcohol abuse. When someone is an alcoholic, drinking is in charge of their life. It is most likely their highest priority, and nothing compares in importance.
Some signs of alcohol addiction and alcoholism include:
- Not being able to control how much alcohol is being consumed.
- Feeling a need to drink more alcohol than previously to get the same result.
- Experiencing alcohol withdrawal after not drinking.
- Giving up activities that were once enjoyed in favor of drinking.
- Spending excessive amounts of time drinking, preparing to drink or recovering from drinking.
- Drinking early in the day.
- Staying drunk for a long time.
- Becoming isolated from others so that they can drink alcohol.
Can you see the differences between these two?
It is important to remember that while alcohol abuse and alcoholism are different, they are still related. Alcohol addiction always begins with alcohol abuse. One person can remain in alcohol abuse for years without becoming an alcoholic. At the same time, another person can abuse alcohol for only a few weeks before alcoholism sets in. Everyone is different, and anyone who drinks excessively is at risk.