Spotting the difference - heavy drinker or alcoholic?
Alcohol Awareness Week aims to encourage people to start talking about alcohol in terms of the health risks, social problems and how alcohol is ever-present in society. As part of Priory's support for alcohol awareness, a number of addiction therapists have written articles on the many damaging effects of alcohol and alcoholism. This article, written by Ross Hoar, Lead Therapist at Priory Hospital Southampton, looks at the transition from heavy drinking to alcoholism.
Even if you do not have an addiction to alcohol, regular excessive drinking can have serious a long-term effect on your health.
Essentially, alcoholism is characterised by a dependence in which you experience withdrawal symptoms if you are unable to consume a regular intake of alcohol.
Many people are still able to attend work or carry on their normal activities, but problems begin to surface as the effects of the addiction take hold.
Problem drinking is the stage before addiction takes hold. You continue to drink, even though it causes problems with relationships, your work life or finances. It is important to get help before problem drinking becomes an addiction.