April 5, 2021: Understanding Alcohol Dependence

From grocery stores and gas stations to work functions and family gatherings to television and movies, alcohol is everywhere. Casual drinking, or consuming a glass or two a few times a month, is very common. However, needing a drink to relax, wanting to drink to escape your thoughts and emotions, or using alcohol to “feel like yourself” are all problematic signs.

Alcoholism, also called “alcohol dependence,” is a chronic, progressive illness marked by a high tolerance for alcohol and physical dependence to it and affects more than 14 million Americans.

Some common symptoms of a developing dependence on alcohol include:

  • Increasingly having to consume more alcohol to get the desired effect.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, mood swings and tremors when you don’t drink.
  • Drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms, such as stopping the shakes or “curing” a hangover.
  • Recognizing the strong urge or craving for alcohol.
  • Missing work regularly.
  • Noticing that alcohol use has replaced activities you used to enjoy doing.

If you are concerned about the role alcohol plays in your everyday life, SupportLinc offers the brief and completely confidential Alcohol Use Screening. This tool, in just three minutes, provides a reliably accurate assessment of if and where your consumption falls on the alcohol disorder spectrum.

Addressing alcohol use is easier with support and guidance from a SupportLinc licensed clinician.  Call 1-888-881-5462 for additional information and resources to help you or someone you love. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at no cost.

Chat is available on business days from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST. If you would like to speak with a counselor outside of these hours, please return to the home screen and press the call button. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please proceed to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.