Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence affects approximately 7.2 percent of adults in the United States. Signs of alcohol abuse may include:
- Regularly drinking more or longer than you originally intended
- Wanting to cut down or stop drinking, but being unable to
- Spending a lot of time drinking or often getting sick due to aftereffects
- Experiencing strong needs or urges to drink
- Finding that drinking or hangovers often interfere with your ability to take care of your home, family, work, or school
- Continuing to drink even if it causes trouble in your social, family, or work life
- Giving up or cutting back on activities that used to interest you in order to drink
- More than once getting into situations that increase your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, walking in a dangerous area, participating in unsafe sex, etc.)
- Continued drinking even when it makes you feel anxious or depressed
- Finding that your tolerance to the effects of alcohol has significantly increased
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms while the effects of alcohol wear off (such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety,
depression, nausea or sweating)
Does treatment work?
However severe the problem may seem, most people with an alcohol use disorder can benefit from treatment. Research shows that about 1/3 or people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms one year later, and significantly more people substantially reduce their drinking and report fewer alcohol-related problems.