Alcohol Addiction 2021-04-06T14:43:11-05:00

Alcohol Abuse vs Alcohol Addiction

All of us have been guilty of comparing Alcohol Abuse to Alcoholism or Alcohol Addiction
but the truth is Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Abuse refer to
two completely different states of mind.

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse is knowingly over-using Alcohol for its effects. Alcohol abusers usually prefer to drink than to do most other things; their responsibilities can easily start coming in second place to drinking - and most Alcoholics start out abusing alcohol.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a more severe case of Alcohol Addiction. Alcohol addiction causes you to completely surround your life with alcohol. Buying more alcohol and drinking alcohol. Nothing else matters to you as long as you can drink more alcohol.
Take Charge Of Your Life
(800) 807-6150
Who Answers?

Drinking is a problem when you notice that you’ve started to neglect things that are important to you for the sake of alcohol.

Whether it’s responsibilities as a parent, a spouse, an employee or even to yourself – you’re probably in the danger zone with drinking if you’re neglecting any daily responsibilities.

Please take everything into account when defining your own Drinking habits. Try to recognize patterns and become aware of your drinking problem before it spirals out of control.

Locate 12 Step Meetings

Finding Help Is Vital

We provide resources and treatment options for alcohol, prescription and illicit drug dependence.

(800) 807-6150
Who Answers?

Call Us Day or Night

Make The Call 24 Hours A Day
(800) 807-6150
Who Answers?
Please call our admissions department and speak live with a crisis counselor for a confidential assessment.

Explain Your Needs

Speak With A Counselor

Be Honest

Explain your needs as clearly as possible. We help thousands of people learn about options for treating drug, alcohol, and behavioral addictions.

Begin The Journey

Follow Our Map Down Recovery Road

Our Plan

We understand you or your loved one’s needs and will make every effort to prevent financial difficulties from becoming a roadblock to recovery.

The Stages of Alcohol and Substance Abuse

People generally progress though these phases as they become addicted to alcohol. Knowing them can help people recognize addiction in family members and friends, as well as themselves. The sooner addiction treatment is sought, the better. Rehabilitation is much easier in the early stages.
The Stages Of Addiction

Stage One

Experimenting With Substances

Experimenting With Substances

Experimentation is using drugs and alcohol voluntarily. This can be as a reaction to life circumstances, depression, or peer pressure. Use is occasional, and most people are able to quit on their own. However, many choose to continue because they like the feeling they get from drugs and alcohol.

Stage Two

Regular Substance Use

Regular Substance Use

In this stage, the use of substances becomes more frequent, and the individual may begin to do it alone.

Stage Three

Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

The third stage is when individuals begin to suffer negative consequences from drug and alcohol use. Examples of problems could be relationship issues, physical or health problems, legal problems, trouble with a job, or getting into trouble while driving. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, almost a third of the people in the United States display risky drinking behavior.

Stage Four

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

When an individual reaches the dependence stage, they no longer seem to care whether they suffer negative consequences. Some of the specific criteria for being dependent on drugs and alcohol include an increased tolerance to the substance, withdrawal symptoms when trying to reduce usage, and extremely irresponsible behaviors, such as losing a job.

Stage Five

Substance Addiction

Substance Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction is when the condition is considered to be a disease. The person is no longer capable of controlling any aspect of it, and their life revolves around the substance. Obvious physical and mental changes have occurred.
alcohol abuse is at play if you have been drinking for 12 months or longer and have gotten into situations which were dangerous. Like drinking and driving, quiting school or being fired, slacking off on your home or financial responsibilities, having legal troubles due to alcohol – like being arrested for being drunk in public; or if your drinking has affected your personal relationships.

Keep in mind however that many people can drink alcohol their entire lives, on a regular basis, and never have any issues. This is where the average drinker and the alcohol abuser differ.

In short a person who abuses alcohol is a person that consumes more alcohol than his or her body can accept, which could lead to minor health problems with a possibility of developing a major Alcohol Addiction in the future.

Some people are more susceptible to alcohol abuse than others. This is why many people can drink their entire lives without abusing it, and others experience problems right away.

Risk Factors for Alcohol Abuse Signs of Alcohol Abuse
  • Having a family history of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • A history of emotional, psychological or physical abuse.
  • Being male – men are 3 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
  • Starting to drink at a young age.
  • Having a mental disorder such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.
  • Abusing other substances such as tobacco, prescription drugs, and illicit substances.
  • Having friends that abuse alcohol.
  • Working or living in an area with alcohol drinkers.
  • Failing to have other types of satisfaction in your life.
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed about your drinking.
  • Hiding your drinking habits from others.
  • Knowing family or friends have been concerned about your drinking.
  • Requiring a drink to relax, be happy or feel better.
  • Blacking out often while you were drinking and not remembering the events.
  • Drinking more than you intended on a regular basis.
  • Failing to pay bills, rent or buy groceries in lieu of purchasing alcohol.
  • Having financial or legal problems as a result of your drinking.
  • Letting drinking outweigh personal relationships.

If you or someone you know is dealing with alcohol abuse and showing any of the above symptoms, you should start getting help as soon as possible. The sooner you get help for your alcohol abuse problem, the more successful treatment will be.

Many will tell you to admit you have a problem before seeking treatment, but as long as you’re willing to try and enter an alcohol rehab center, you’re on your way to becoming clean and sober.

Binge Drinking and Alcohol Abuse

Binge Drinking is a form of Alcohol Abuse that is defined as four or more drinks on one occasion for women and five or more drinks for men.

If your drinking tends to “sneak up” on you – you might be a binge drinker. Similar to that of your health, unexpectedly becoming intoxicated is unhealthy and shows your lack of ability to stop before it’s too late.

Many Medical Reports have shown that having seven drinks a week can lower your risk of developing Diabetes or Heart Disease. However, waiting all week to drink negates any of those supposed health benefits. Binge Drinking can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of Alcohol Poisoning.

Binge Drinking causes over 80,000 deaths each year just in the United States; and it is the third largest cause of preventable deaths. Research focused on college students has provided evidence that Binge Drinking impairs decision-making capabilities and increases impulsiveness.

For example, individuals who Binge Drink are more likely to choose options that provide short-term benefits with long-term problems, rather than opting for benefits over the long run.

Alcohol Abuse inhibits your ability to do multiple things at one time. It delays your actions, your ability to think abstractly, plan for future events and multi-task.

Individuals who have an Alcohol Abuse problem (specifically college students in these studies) are less able to handle common things.

Getting Help

Substances are frequently used to escape from something, and you must figure out what that is for you in order to be successful in recovery. By getting addiction treatment help, you can begin to change your thinking so that you no longer need to depend on drugs and alcohol.

The process of detox allows you to be free of physical dependence; but a large part of transformation in a successful alcohol rehab program comes from psychological work in individual counseling, group therapy, and other activities.

You will learn the tools necessary to cope with problems in a new and healthier way.

This requires developing a new outlook on life and the concrete skills to manage your alcohol addiction.

Counselors Are Available 24/7 (800) 807-6150
Who Answers?
I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWFree and Confidential. Call800-807-6150Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by one of our treatment partners below.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by ARK Behavioral Health, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.