Alcohol addiction and dependency is becoming an increasing issue in today’s society with more than 9 million people drinking more than their recommended daily limits (Alcoholconcern.org.uk). Although alcohol is part of many people’s daily lives, how do you know when if you have an addiction or dependency? Alcohol addiction not only affects you physically but also emotionally, socially and psychologically.
How do you know when you have an alcohol addiction?
There are many misconceptions about alcohol addiction, including what someone suffering from alcoholism should look and behave like. However, addiction doesn’t work this way. Addiction can reach people of any age, background, gender and occupation, and it appears differently for everyone.
Addiction is often a coping mechanism for deeper issues, which means the symptoms may be the same, but each person will present it differently. Just like a mental health issue, alcoholism is not easy to spot, and it is these misconceptions that can prevent people from seeking help.
Physical risks of alcohol addiction
People with alcohol dependency will often experience an increase in accidents and injuries, a general deterioration in health as well as specific health conditions as a direct result of the alcohol:
- Physical symptoms of withdrawal
- Loss of weight and malnutrition
- Liver disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neurological problems
- Stomach problems
- Osteoporosis (especially in women)
Mental Health Risks of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol misuse and mental health problems often go hand in hand. It could be an escalation of existing conditions or the result of the dependency.