When can you call someone an alcoholic?
When do you become an alcoholic?
Craving, often called addictive pressure in German, is an irresistible desire to consume alcohol, even if it is clear to the person that alcohol consumption is actually inappropriate or even harmful. Loss of control describes the inability to freely decide whether to start consuming alcohol or how much to drink.
The development of tolerance expresses the constantly increasing amounts of alcohol that are required to achieve the desired effect. A restriction to drinking means that other interests are put aside and neglected in order to be able to drink alcohol, e.g. the person concerned prefers to stay at home in order to be able to drink undisturbed than to attract attention in company or pursue hobbies. This also includes the concept of secret alcohol consumption, which can often be observed in dependent people, so-called "alcoholics".
Another sign of alcohol dependence is continued consumption despite harmful consequences. These can appear in a wide variety of forms. Consequential physical damage due to excessive alcohol consumption can range from liver damage to cirrhosis of the liver or nerve and brain damage, psychological consequential damage such as the development of alcohol-induced depression (approx. 80% of people with alcohol addiction are at least moderately depressed!).
Typical of alcohol addiction are also social consequences, which can lead to social exclusion of people or even job loss and divorce and ultimately to the complete loss of the social structure with homelessness.
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