In the United States alone, there are more than 15 million adults who abuse or are dependent on alcohol. However, many of them don’t recognize that fact. Since most adults consume alcohol to some degree, it is hard to know when a true dependence has developed. Explore the signs of alcohol dependency and learn how to effectively overcome this dependence.

Blackouts or Memory Loss

A woman rests lays her head on her arm as she clutches a glass and realizes she has an alcohol dependencyBinge drinking, as well as other forms of excessive alcohol consumption, can impact memory. You might have an alcohol dependency if you drink and then have a hard time remembering what happened.

A blackout is when those who drink heavily have a huge chunk of time missing from their memory. They might remember everything until 10 p.m. but have no recollection of anything after that. Chronic memory loss like this is usually a sign that a person is drinking too often and is likely addicted to the substance.

Increased Tolerance

One of the chemical changes that happen when you drink alcohol is that your body establishes a new baseline for tolerance. In the past, a woman might have had a bottle of wine and felt very drunk. After drinking a bottle or more a night for weeks or months, that woman’s tolerance will start to change.

Once a person needs increasing amounts of alcohol to feel the same effects, they are probably dependent. At this stage, trying to cut back or quit can be a challenge. That simply means that getting sober is that much more important to your health and your wellbeing.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Many of the people who struggle with an alcohol dependency don’t want to see the problem for what it really is: A substance abuse disorder. Some people try to cut back or quit temporarily as a way to show that they have control over the disease. However, that usually reveals the opposite to be true.

If you cut back on alcohol consumption or try to quit for a few days altogether, you might experience withdrawal symptoms. These are typically mild, at least in the beginning. They can include symptoms like nausea, anxiety, or insomnia. If you experience any of these withdrawal symptoms, then you almost certainly need to confront the reality of your dependency on alcohol.

Changes in Behavior or Appearance

Another way to spot an alcohol dependency is by taking a look at a person from afar. Someone who is struggling with alcohol abuse might have a new sleep pattern, or they might not be attending work or school like they did before. Alcohol abuse and addiction can cause a person to end grooming habits or lose weight rapidly, among many other visible physical symptoms.

Drinking Alcohol Despite Negative Consequences

When an average person notices that alcohol is leading to negative consequences, they stop drinking. That’s not true for a person who is dependent on alcohol. If you or someone you love continues to drink despite financial problems, health issues, or family concerns, then addiction is likely.

How to Overcome an Alcohol Dependency

Overcoming a dependence on alcohol isn’t easy, so it is important to have the right help. At Soledad House, offering inpatient alcohol rehab in San Diego, you can have access to comprehensive care and addiction treatment. Some of the therapies and treatments you’ll have access to include the following:

If you or someone you care about struggles with an alcohol dependency, then it’s time to take action. At Soledad House in San Diego, California, you can find the strength to embrace sobriety. Call 866-314-3222 to learn more and to begin down the path to recovery.