Alcohol addiction can manifest in different ways, from daily consumption to infrequent but intense binge-drinking sessions. Having a need to consume alcohol, in whatever manner or form, is one of the biggest signs that we have a drinking problem. This shows that the circumstances around our drinking have created patterns in our brain that are very difficult to resist, and they must be resisted with intention and effort. But if we don’t have the tools and support we need to identify and circumvent those patterns—and address the challenges that were temporarily alleviated by the alcohol in the first place—we can become stuck in the nightmare of addiction.
If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, please seek professional help. If you are in crisis, here are some immediate free resources.
Until the publication of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), substance issues were generally divided into abuse and dependence. The DSM-5 combines these categories into a single substance use disorder, measured on a continuum from mild to severe.