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Understanding Alcohol Abuse and Addictions


There is a lot about alcohol abuse and addiction that people do not understand; things like the fact that there is a very definite difference between the two conditions. We will explain some of those things, but first it is important to understand that both alcohol abuse and addiction are serious matters that should never be taken lightly.

With tens of thousands of people seeking alcohol addiction help every year, it is apparent that this is a huge problem in the UK. Yet it is a problem that is tackled successfully by private rehab clinics in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and beyond. Alcohol Rehabs is happy to be part of the solution by offering confidential referral and advice services. All of our services are provided free of charge.

Abuse and Addiction Are Different

There is a clear line of distinction between alcohol abuse and addiction that can be determined by observing behavioural symptoms. It can be said that every addict is an abuser while not every abuser is an addict. It all comes down to how much a person drinks, how often he or she drinks, and their purposes for drinking.

Alcohol addiction experts define abuse as consuming too much alcohol too frequently. A good example to illustrate abuse is what is known as ‘binge drinking’.

Binge drinking is characterised by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol over a period of time that can last from several hours to several days. Binge drinking is common at university parties, major sporting events, important family events and the like. Someone who engages in binge drinking once or twice a year would not be considered an alcohol abuser. However, once or twice a month can be characteristic of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol addiction is abuse taken to the next level. Alcohol addiction is a situation in which the individual cannot cope with the everyday routine of life without consuming moderate amounts of alcohol. Quite often, the alcohol addict is in an intoxicated state for most of his or her waking hours.

Common signs of alcoholism (alcohol addiction) include:

  • drinking first thing in the morning
  • planning family and social events around alcohol
  • being concerned about where the next drink is coming from
  • unexplained and repetitive absences
  • a sudden change in social circles
  • sudden weight loss and mood swings
  • profound financial problems
  • gradually increased alcohol intake.

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