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It is not a symptom of other diseases or emotional problems. The chemistry of alcohol affects nearly every type of cell in the body, including those in the central nervous system. Prolonged exposure to alcohol causes the brain to become dependent on it. The severity of this disease is influenced by factors such as genetics, psychology, culture, and response to physical pain.

Before treatment or recovery, most people with alcoholism deny that they have a drinking problem. Other indications of alcoholism and alcohol abuse include:

  • Drinking alone or in secret

  • Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink

  • Not remembering conversations or commitments, sometimes referred to as "blacking out"

  • Making a ritual of having drinks before, with or after dinner and becoming annoyed when this ritual is disturbed or questioned

  • Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring pleasure

  • Feeling a need or compulsion to drink

  • Irritability when your usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn't available

  • Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work or in the car

  • Gulping drinks, ordering doubles, becoming intoxicated intentionally to feel good or drinking to feel "normal"

  • Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment or finances

  • Building a tolerance to alcohol so that you need an increasing number of drinks to feel alcohol's effects

  • Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking — if you don't drink

People who abuse alcohol may experience many of the same signs and symptoms as people who are dependent on alcohol. However, alcohol abusers don't feel the same compulsion to drink and usually don't experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they don't drink. A dependence on alcohol also creates a tolerance to alcohol and the inability to control your drinking.

Below are a few questions regarding your own alcohol consumption, do you abuse or are you dependant?

  • Do you need a drink as soon as you get up?

  • Do you feel guilty about your drinking?

  • Do you think you need to cut back on your alcohol consumption?

  • Are you annoyed when other people comment on or criticize your drinking habits?

If you answered yes, to even one of these questions, you may a problem.

Alcoholism can develop insidiously, and often there is no clear line between problem drinking and alcoholism. Eventually alcohol dominates ones actions, emotions and thinking, becoming the primary means through which a person can deal with life, usually to his/hers detriment. There are cures for Alcoholism, but they are not of any use, unless, you are willing to accept that you have a disease and need help for your addiction. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, and sometimes fatal disease!

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