What is the difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism?

What is the difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism?

There is a difference between being a casual drinker and a full-blown alcoholic, it is no doubt that we all have enjoyed 1 or 2 drinks when we are out enjoying ourselves with friends, but the key is to know when enough alcohol is enough and how much your body is really able to handle.

Alcoholism vs Alcohol Abuse

Though it may sound the same, they do have two slightly different meanings. Alcoholism refers to the dependency and addiction where the person has a physical or psychological need to consume alcohol whereas alcohol “abuse” is the pattern in which the individual drinks excessively despite the negative consequences and effects that they will bear, it is almost as if their life solely depends on it. In order to spot the main differences between alcohol abuse and alcoholism, it is keen to pay attention to the severity of the symptoms and signs each is accompanied with.


Spotting Alcoholism

An individual who is dependent on alcohol typically feels that without it, they are unable to handle the day, this person is one whom we would classify as an alcoholic. This also means that they are more tolerant and will be compelled to drink more and more to truly start feeling the effects of alcohol on their body.

They will most definitely also suffer from AWS (alcoholic withdrawal syndrome), this includes a series of anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, tremors, chills, nausea, headaches, irritability and depression.

While symptoms may take as little as a few hours or as much as a few days to show, they more than likely will get worse in the days following.

Withdrawal and tolerance are easy telling signs of alcohol dependence. Other vital signs also include:

  • Lack of self-control that is, it is very hard for you to refrain yourself from over drinking, despite trying to
  • Allowing alcohol drinking to come before your daily routines and responsibilities
  • It has become a religious practice for you and despite financial, health or even family matters, it is first priority

Diagnosing Alcohol Abuse

As stated above, alcoholism and alcohol abuse differ in a matter of degrees, such as signs and symptoms.

If you are only an abuser of alcohol, then chances are, you are not yet as dependent on it as an alcoholic would be and you may experience a slight tolerance and a much less severe withdrawal phase.

As an abuser, being neglectful will be one of the very first symptoms that you will experience, such as, disregarding responsibilities and putting your drinking habits first. This also includes; calling in sick for work more often than usual because you have a “hangover” or maybe you’ve stopped spending quality time with your kids and family because you would rather go out drinking with friends.

Other alcohol abuse signs include:

  • Risk-taking while under the influence
    • such as, driving or operating heavy machinery
    • mixing alcohol while taking prescription drugs
  • Continuing to drink despite feeling sick or getting physically hurt while under the influence
  • Attaching alcohol use to emotions,  such as using alcohol as an excuse to de-stress or to or to help you cope with feelings of depression.

Intervention For A Healthy Lifestyle

No matter your age or status, it is important to know that you are not alone in this battle. The first and most important step in alcohol intervention is to accept that you are an alcoholic and seek help and Intervention Allies is here for you. People from all walks of life are fighting this same battle as you and it is not only vital to understanding that this behavior does not only affect you but it affects your loved ones and those around you who care about you as well.

First Steps In Intervention Process

Here are a few ways in which you can be on your way to a successful intervention. If you answer yes to at least 90% or more of these questions, contact us at any time!

  1. Feeling more irritable or angry than you normally would?
  2. Are you being more secretive about your drinking or hiding it?
  3. Losing sleep due to devoting more time your new drinking habit?
  4. Spending more money than you normally would on substances to freshen your breath, body mists (perfumes/colognes) and even air fresheners to mask the smell?
  5. Have an itchy, craving for alcohol?
  6. Enhancing your shots achieve an even greater pleasure or high?
  7. When you haven’t had any for a period of time, do you begin to experience symptoms such as withdrawal accompanied by muscle aches, sweating, tremors, fever, diarrhea or insomnia?