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Can I Enjoy Drinking without Being an Addict?

Although alcohol is legal for adults, it remains an intoxicating and addictive substance. Alcohol belongs to the sedative class of drugs, along with barbiturates and benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax. Like other sedatives, alcohol use can lead to tolerance, physical dependence and addiction.

Since there are varying degrees of alcohol use, abuse and addiction, it can be helpful to understand the distinction between alcohol users, problem drinkers and alcoholics. Many people enjoy alcohol in moderation and never struggle with addiction. Furthermore, some users might have a drinking problem and still not be considered an addict.

It can also be beneficial to know the factors that may contribute to alcoholism. For example, genetic predisposition may be a factor that can cause one drinker to develop an addiction while another does not. A history of alcoholism in the family may be an indicator of genetic predisposition and may cause one to face a higher risk of becoming addicted to alcohol.

The Differences between Social Drinking and Problem Drinking

Many people enjoy alcohol in moderation without letting alcohol use cause problems in their lives. While some may argue that even occasional drinking can cause negative health effects, adults in our society are permitted to make this choice.

Problem drinking can occur when one’s alcohol use proceeds to the point that it causes problems in the life of the drinker or the lives of others. Problem drinkers may only drink on occasion, may not have developed a physical dependence on alcohol and may not engage in other addictive behavior. One example of this would be a person who only drinks occasionally at parties but drinks to excess and acts in inappropriate, destructive, dangerous or illegal ways. A person whose occasional drinking leads him to engage in fighting, driving drunk or getting arrested for disorderly conduct may have a drinking problem, even if he has not developed a physical dependence on alcohol.

The Differences between Problem Drinking and Alcoholism

Alcoholism can occur when a person develops a physical dependence on alcohol and feels the need to drink in order to function normally. Alcoholics tend to drink every day and often drink throughout the day. If an alcoholic goes without drinking, he may feel anxious and irritable or may experience severe withdrawal symptoms such as tremors and hallucinations.

Finding Treatment for Alcoholism

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol abuse, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about problem drinking and alcoholism. We can also help you find the best treatment option for your situation. Please call now.