Alcohol is all around you at restaurants, in your friend's house, and on the plane when you fly. For some people, it's not an issue; however, if you have an alcohol dependence, being near alcohol can send you into a downward spiral if you're not careful.
If you're concerned that you have a problem with alcohol dependence, Dr. Lori Scott and her team at Lori Scott Family Care in Kinston, North Carolina, can help. Dr. Scott specializes in addiction to drugs and alcohol, offering personalized care and treatment.
Understanding alcohol dependence
Alcohol dependence occurs when you rely on alcohol to get you through your day. When you're dependent on alcohol, you can’t stop drinking, even if you want to.
Alcohol dependence doesn't just happen overnight. If you have this condition, you need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve the same effect. It takes time for you to become dependent on alcohol, and it's challenging to kick.
You experience withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit. Withdrawal symptoms you may experience include:
- Mood swings
- Shaking or tremors
- Stomach issues
- Increased blood pressure
Withdrawal symptoms are one of the main signs that you’re dependent on alcohol. You may also struggle with this issue if you have to drink to stop the shakes or if you know you have a problem but won't admit it to anyone else.
Warning signs of alcohol dependence
Alcohol isn't always a problem; sometimes, it's just a glass of wine after a long day or a beer with friends. However, suppose you find yourself craving a drink at inappropriate times or noticing that you need more than usual to take the edge off. In that case, you could be dealing with alcohol dependence.
But how can you be sure you have a problem? Dr. Scott knows the telltale signs of alcohol dependence and can spot them after talking to you about your drinking habits. She may tell you you're heading toward alcohol dependence if you:
1. Experience withdrawal symptoms
If you're developing alcohol dependence, you usually can't cut back on drinking because of withdrawal symptoms. When you try to quit suddenly, you'll likely experience uncomfortable symptoms like tremors, mood swings, and even seizures.
Even if you want to drink less, when you're dependent on alcohol, you'll still go through withdrawal symptoms as your body is so used to the amount you've been drinking.
2. Routinely have a strong urge to drink
Wanting to have a drink after a long day is much different than needing to drink to avoid going into withdrawal. If you feel like you can't get through your day without a drink or else you'll end up with the shakes, you’re becoming dependent on alcohol.
3. Unsuccessfully try to quit or cut down
When you notice that you're drinking alcohol more often, you may realize that you need to cut back on drinking or quit altogether. However, if you're dependent on alcohol, you won't be able to cut down, no matter how hard you try.
You often need expert treatment from Dr. Scott to kick your alcohol dependence. It's a challenging process, but it's achievable with one-on-one care from Dr. Scott and her team.
4. Need more alcohol to feel the same effect
If you're alcohol dependent, you eventually need to start drinking more to achieve the same feeling and effect. Your body becomes used to the amount of alcohol that you're drinking day in and day out and develops a tolerance. For example, if you usually drink three beers a day, you'll need four or five as time goes on to feel the impact of the alcohol.
Alcohol dependence also can take over your life. You may end up destroying relationships and missing work or school because of the problem. However, you'll continue to drink even though you know it's a problem.
We can help you overcome alcohol dependence
It's hard to take on alcohol dependence alone — and you don’t have to. Dr. Scott and her team are here to give you the expert treatment and personalized support you need to get your life back from alcohol.
If you need professional help for alcohol dependence, don't hesitate to call our office at 252-238-7079 or book an appointment online with Dr. Scott today.