Alcohol dependence is also called alcoholism.
Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a physical condition.
Feel an uncontrollable need, or craving to drink alcohol
Cannot control how much alcohol they drink
Become ill when they stop drinking
Need to drink greater amounts of alcohol over time to feel its effects
People who abuse alcohol are not physically dependent on it, but
Developing health conditions, including:
Neglect your responsibilities:
Put yourself and others in physical danger if you drink:
Many people can safely drink small amounts of alcohol.
But, anyone can start to drink too much alcohol.
People with developmental disabilities may be at greater risk of alcohol dependence and abuse than others.
One of your parents is, or was, dependent on alcohol
You have a medical condition that makes it unsafe for you to drink alcohol
You take medication that should not be taken with alcohol
Many people deny that they are dependent on, or abuse, alcohol.
Some signs that you can look for in yourself or others are:
Not being able to remember what you did while you were drinking alcohol
Not being able to stop drinking after you have had one or two drinks
Using alcohol to relax, to cheer up, to sleep, or to deal with problems
Feeling sick and worried when you try to stop drinking alcohol
Drinking alcohol in secret
If you think that you may be dependent on, or are abusing alcohol, tell your doctor or someone you trust right away.
If you are concerned about a friend’s, or a family member’s drinking, you should ask them to see a doctor.
Your doctor might recommend medication, counseling, and support groups.
It may be very hard for you to stop drinking.
Your friends and supports can help you.
If you think you are drinking too much alcohol, talk to:
Limit how much you drink or stop drinking, before you have a problem.
You should never drink alcohol before you drive a car or operate machinery.
Drinking and driving is very dangerous and can cause serious accidents on the road.
If someone you are with has been drinking alcohol, do not get in a car that they are driving.
You can make your own choices!
Even if you are around other people who are drinking, you can tell them that you do not drink alcohol.
Do not let other people pressure you into drinking alcohol if you do not want to, or if your doctor has told you that you should not.
This checklist can help you decide if you or a friend should talk with someone you trust about alcohol dependence.
Last updated on June 14th, 2010