Alcohol Dependence

Addiction Medicine & Mental Health located in Catonsville, MD

Alcohol Dependence

Excessive drinking can increase your risk of illness, injuries, and other potentially serious consequences. While occasional drinking usually isn’t dangerous, Grace Agboh, NP, at EsiaCare, understands the effect alcohol can have on your mind and body. At her addiction medicine clinic in Parkville, Maryland, she can effectively treat alcohol dependence. Call EsiaCare today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Alcohol Dependence Q&A

What is alcohol dependence?

Alcohol dependence is a medical condition that can develop if you rely on alcohol, even when it causes physical, emotional, social, or occupational harm. 

Using alcohol consistently or heavily can negatively interfere with your life. It can even cause physical withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking, abdominal pain, and vomiting when you take breaks from drinking.

Is alcohol abuse the same as alcohol dependence?

Alcohol abuse and dependence share many similarities, but a few key differences set them apart. While dependence causes a physiological reliance on alcohol, people who abuse alcohol may not physically or psychologically depend on it.

Alcohol abuse refers to a pattern of excessive drinking that leads to harmful consequences in various areas of life, such as physical health, relationships, work, or legal issues. But cravings typically don’t develop when you stop drinking like they do with alcohol dependence. 

For many people, alcohol abuse and dependence are different stages of problematic drinking behavior. Early intervention is crucial to address alcohol abuse and prevent it from progressing to alcohol dependence.

I drink daily. Do I have alcohol dependence?

Daily drinking doesn’t necessarily indicate alcohol dependence, but it can. Factors such as the amount consumed, the effect on your life, and the inability to control or stop drinking contribute to alcohol dependence.

Determining whether you’re dependent on alcohol requires a comprehensive assessment by your EsiaCare provider. Other signs of alcohol dependence include:

  • Difficulty controlling the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Intense cravings for alcohol when you aren’t drinking
  • Continued alcohol use even when it interferes with work, relationships, or health
  • Risky behavior while consuming alcohol
  • Increased tolerance to alcohol and drinking more for the desired effect
  • Neglect of professional or personal responsibilities 
  • Long or repeated hangovers from alcohol use

If you’re struggling with alcohol use, the compassionate EsiaCare providers have the experience and training to diagnose your condition and support your recovery.

How can I overcome alcohol dependence?

Overcoming alcohol dependence and achieving lasting recovery requires a collaborative approach that may include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Medically assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Group therapy and support groups
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Outpatient detox
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Self-care
  • Stress reduction techniques

You don’t have to manage alcohol dependence alone. Call EsiaCare today or schedule an appointment online to receive the support you deserve.