People often wonder exactly what alcohol abuse is. It can be tricky to differentiate between moderate drinking, social drinking and alcohol abuse. The definition of alcohol abuse boils down to one key point: does drinking cause problems in a person’s life?
When a person starts drinking, they never intend to get to the stage that they abuse alcohol. Drinking normally starts as a social activity with friends and is linked to having a good time. It is possible that viewing alcohol in this positive light is precisely the reason why people slip into alcohol abuse so easily. The perspective that alcohol is a “good time” drug prevents people from seeing the symptoms and signs of alcohol abuse.
Definition of Alcohol Abuse
The definition of alcohol abuse is similar to that of alcoholism in that in both, alcohol causes harm to both the drinker and the people around them. The only difference is that alcohol abusers are not yet alcoholics, and can typically limit their drinking to some extent as they are not yet physically addicted to alcohol. The crux of the definition of alcohol abuse does not lie in the volume of alcohol consumed, but rather in how an individual is affected.
Signs Of Alcohol Abuse
As the definition of alcohol abuse is general, the signs for each person are unique. Although various signs will be similar to those of alcoholism, they will often manifest themselves to a lesser degree. By its very definition, alcohol abuse is problem drinking. Signs of alcohol abuse include:
- The use of alcohol in such a way that it causes danger, e.g. driving while under the influence of alcohol
- Responsibilities neglected repeatedly due to drinking or the effects of a hangover
- Continued drinking despite it affecting relationships, work, or other areas of your life negatively
- Being in legal or financial trouble repeatedly as a result of drinking
- Drinking to feel good, or to not feel bad
- Drinking to de-stress or relax
The effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse could affect everything in the drinker’s life in the long term, including family, work, finances and health, as it will affect almost every organ in your body negatively.
It is important to understand the definition of alcohol abuse so that you can determine if it applies to you. If it does, we urge you to seek help for alcohol abuse sooner, rather than later.
It is also important to realize that although not all people abusing alcohol ultimately turn into alcoholics, alcohol abuse is nonetheless the main risk factor to turning into an alcoholic.
Facts About Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse, often referred to as problem drinking, is common in the USA. Reports indicate that as much as 30% of Americans have a drinking problem at some stage. Although alcohol abusers are not yet physically dependent, the facts suggest that it has a dramatic impact on a person’s life.
Facts about alcohol abuse include:
- Alcohol abusers often get annoyed or even angry when others want them to quit
- Alcohol consumption affects women’s cognitive abilities more severely than that of men
- Drinking has a negative impact on family, work and life obligations
- Alcohol abusers will behave dangerously while drinking, e.g. driving under the influence
- Alcohol abuse is a major risk factor for becoming an alcoholic
- Drinking is used to de-stress and relax, often on a daily basis
- Binge drinking creates a greater risk for an alcohol abuser to turn into an alcoholic
- Not all alcohol abusers ultimately turn into alcoholics
- Alcohol abusers often become alcoholics when triggered by stress or loss