Alcohol dependence is a disease that is often progressive and fatal. Although alcoholism tends to run in families, it is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. An individual who is dependent upon alcohol typically uses it to avoid personal and social factors in his or her life. The four symptoms of alcohol dependence include:
- cravings for alcohol
- inability to reduce or stop alcohol consumption
- experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping alcohol consumption
- increased tolerance of alcohol (takes more to get the same effect)
What are the Warning Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence?
You may have a problem with alcohol if you answer yes to any of the following:
- Drinking in the morning
- Drinking alone
- Drinking to feel socially comfortable
- Drinking to the point of intoxication
- Drinking that results in blackouts or memory loss
- Drinking that results in injuries, accidents, or aggressive behavior
If you are concerned that you may have a drinking problem, discuss this with your physician or a mental health professional.
The Facts on Alcoholism
Alcohol is the most commonly used and widely abused psychoactive drug in the world.
Due to a drinking problem one’s life expectancy is reduced up to 10 years.
Even if you are not an alcoholic, abusing alcohol can still have negative affects.
Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to become alcoholics than children of non-alcoholics.
Rates of alcohol problems are highest among adults ages 18-29.
More men than women are alcohol dependent.
Heavy & chronic drinking
– can harm virtually every organ in the body
– is the single most important cause of illness and death from liver disease
– depresses the immune system
– is associated with cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and hypertension
Drinking habit in the UK
In England there are an estimated 589,101 dependent drinkers. Less than 20% are receiving the treatment.
– 24% of adults in England and Scotland regularly drink over the Chief Medical Officer’s low-risk guidelines [1, 16], and 27% of drinkers in Great Britain binge drink on their heaviest drinking days (over 8 units for men and over 6 units for women).
– In 2017, 20% of the population reported not drinking at all and overall consumption has fallen by around 16% since 2004.
– In the UK, in 2016 there were 9,214 alcohol-related deaths (around 15 per 100,000 people). The mortality rates are highest among people aged 55-69.
– In the UK in 2017 there were 7,697 alcohol-specific deaths (around 12.2 per 100,000 people). This is the highest level since 2008.
– In England, there are an estimated 589,101 dependent drinkers (2016/17), of whom 81.7% are not accessing treatment.
– Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages
– While the price of alcohol has increased by 33% over the last 10 years, it remains 64% more affordable than it was in 1980.