Alcohol Dependence, Diagnosis, Assessment & Management


What is Alcohol Dependence?

Dependence on alcohol means a person believes they can’t function or exist without it and that drinking has become a significant – or even the most significant – part of their lives.

Humans have used alcohol for thousands of years, and it has played a critical part in the evolution of human society and behaviour. Alcohol is likely the most widely used and consumed recreational substance today. However, because of its high potential for addiction and its role in many deadly accidents and criminal acts worldwide, it is also one of the most destructive. Ethanol is a form of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and is the “alcohol” we consume when we drink. Other sorts of alcohol are harmful to our health.

When we drink alcohol regularly for an extended period, we become vulnerable to the development of addiction and various health problems. The concept of addiction is one that is frequently misinterpreted by the general public. This syndrome is defined as a dysfunction of the brain’s reward system characterised by compulsive participation in specific rewarding behaviours (in this case, alcohol drinking), notwithstanding the negative repercussions of such behaviour.

Although addiction is not the same as dependence, a physical condition, the two are commonly linked, and alcohol dependence is virtually always followed by alcohol dependence.

Alcoholism is a prevalent and exceedingly harmful condition that affects millions of people worldwide, resulting in millions of deaths and a huge, although unquantifiable, social cost.

People addicted to alcohol will realise that they need to drink more to achieve the same effect. They frequently prioritise drinking over other activities or commitments (such as work or family life), or they continue to drink despite negative repercussions, such as liver illness or depression. When you stop drinking because you are addicted to alcohol, you will experience physical withdrawal symptoms.

Before quitting drinking, talk to your doctor or another medical expert if you suspect you’re addicted to alcohol. You can chat with a health professional at your GP surgery or self-refer to one of several national alcohol support agencies for guidance and help. Alternatively, you can contact Compare Rehab UK for assistance in overcoming your addiction.

Differences Between Terms

The term “alcohol addiction” is frequently interchanged with a variety of other terms and phrases, some of which refer to different facets of the problem.


Alcoholism, the term most commonly used by the general public to characterise alcohol addiction, is a more accurate phrase for the recurrent drinking of alcohol over time that results in physical and/or mental health problems. The most frequent definition of alcoholism is obsessive alcohol consumption to the harm of the drinker, who is unable to stop drinking despite the consequences (in other words, alcohol addiction).

Alcohol Dependence Syndrome

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) defines alcohol dependence syndrome as a chronic disorder in which a person desires alcoholic beverages and is unable to regulate their drinking. This is primarily a chronic disease with genetic, psychological, and environmental elements impacting its development and manifestations. It is a disorder characterised by a pathological pattern of alcohol consumption that causes substantial impairment in social or occupational functioning.

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Alcohol use disorder can develop in those who drink excessively. Characteristics that were previously classified as either abuse or dependency are signs of the disease. Among the most prevalent signs and symptoms are:

  • Drinking more alcohol than one intended for a more extended period of time.
  • Trying to cut down on drinking but not being able to.
  • Investing a significant amount of time in procuring alcohol, ingesting it, and then recuperating from it.
  • Alcohol use makes it difficult for a person to operate regularly in essential aspects of their life.
  • Strong alcohol cravings.
  • Giving up key activities due to alcohol consumption.
  • Using alcohol in potentially dangerous settings.
  • Continued drinking despite the negative repercussions.
  • Tolerance, or the desire to consume more in order to achieve the same results.
  • When alcohol use is reduced or stopped, withdrawal symptoms appear.

Those who have moderate to severe alcohol use disorders will almost always need outside assistance to stop drinking. Detoxification, medical treatment, professional rehab or counselling, and/or self-help group assistance could all be included.

Alcohol Abuse or Alcohol Dependence?

Problems with substance use were traditionally separated into “abuse” and “dependency” until the publishing of the 5th edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5). These categories were merged into a single diagnostic of “substance use disorder,” which was graded on a scale of mild to severe.

This adjustment was intended to refute the notion that abuse was a moderate and early expression of the condition, whereas dependency was a more severe manifestation. Abuse, in actuality, can also be pretty devastating.

What Is Alcohol Dependence?

Alcohol dependency was once thought to be a persistent medical disorder characterised by withdrawal symptoms when a person stopped taking alcohol. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, the person must continue to drink alcohol.

Some or all of the following qualities are present in people who are dependent on alcohol:

  • Tolerance to alcohol: The need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol over time to attain previous effects. For instance, you used to drink three cocktails every night, but now you require five to achieve the desired effect.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: These symptoms include experiencing physical symptoms such as sleeplessness, tremors, and mood fluctuations after a short period of not drinking.
  • To halt the shakes or “treat” hangovers, people drink to reduce or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Whether or not you admit it to others, you are aware of the compulsion to drink or the desire for alcohol.
  • Drinking more or for a longer period of time than desired, despite unsuccessful attempts to cut back.

What Is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is defined as a situation in which a person continues to drink despite experiencing repeated social, interpersonal, health, or legal issues as a result of their alcohol consumption. A person who abuses alcohol may become dependent on it, yet they may be able to stop without feeling withdrawal symptoms.

According to statistics, 90% of those who abuse alcohol aren’t dependent on it. People who drank excessively or binge drank were included in this category. The study did discover, however, that people who binge drink more frequently are also more likely to be alcohol dependent.

Causes of Alcohol Use Disorder and Dependency

Several factors usually play a role in someone being dependent on alcohol.

The society in which you live significantly impacts your likelihood of developing alcoholism. For instance, how readily available alcohol is, how much it costs, and peer pressure to drink from friends, family, or coworkers.

Also, alcoholism can run in families. It’s partly genetic, but it’s also influenced by your family’s alcohol views and the environment in which you grow up.

Stressful circumstances, like a death in the family or the loss of a job, can lead to binge drinking in certain people, which can progress to alcoholism.

Alcohol dependents have a higher incidence of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, and drug misuse than the general population.

People frequently drink to alleviate symptoms (a practice known as “self-medicating”), but alcohol, in the long run, exacerbates these problems by disrupting the chemical balance in our brains.

Why Do People Drink Alcohol?

Alcohol has been drunk for its intoxicating qualities since prehistoric times: in appropriate proportions, it can offer an elevated mood and a feeling of pleasure, disinhibition and increased sociability, and decreasedUnfortunately, alcohol can also be used in ways that are harmful to the person who consumes it. Many individuals drink to get away from terrible everyday reality, to cope with chronic pain or mental health concerns, to relieve boredom, and for various other prejudicial reasons. People who have been drinking alcohol for a long time can develop an addiction or dependency, and in these circumstances, the affected individuals drink mostly because they are physically or psychologically unable to stop their levels of anxiety. Alcohol has established itself as an accompaniment to celebration and commemoration across most of human society as a result of these enjoyable effects and its role in many rites and ceremonies over millennia.

Indeed, due to its relative growing popularity over time, alcohol has come to be used for a wide range of purposes, including calming nerves before battle or other threatening events, medicinally, in ceremonial toasts, as a performance-enhancing drug, reducing the impact of traumatic news, and countless others purposes.

Unfortunately, alcohol can also be used in ways that are harmful to the person who consumes it. Many individuals drink to get away from terrible everyday reality, to cope with chronic pain or mental health concerns, to relieve boredom, and for various other prejudicial reasons. People who have been drinking alcohol for a long time can develop an addiction or dependency, and in these circumstances, the affected individuals drink primarily because they are physically or psychologically unable to stop.

Signs and Symptoms of an Alcohol Problem

A multitude of changes in your personality and the way you think can signal compulsive and obsessive drinking. If you or a loved one has started to develop an addiction to alcohol, you will most likely notice the following signs and symptoms:

  • Inability to manage the amount of alcohol consumed in a single sitting.
  • Failure to control when you drink leads to alcohol abuse at all hours of the day, especially in unsuitable settings.
  • Having overwhelming drinking cravings.
  • Increased tolerance for alcohol, requiring you to drink larger amounts to attain the desired impact.
  • Feeling as if you can’t operate regularly without a drink, so you drink to make yourself feel ‘normal’ or ‘good.’
  • Hide alcohol in your home, car, office, or other frequently visited locations.
  • Drinking alone and in private.
  • When you cannot obtain a drink, you become extremely irritable, especially when you have significant cravings.
  • Continued alcohol misuse while knowing that it is having a negative influence on your personal or professional life.
  • Giving up activities you used to enjoy in favour of drinking.
  • Blackouts — periods of time following a drinking binge in which you have no recollection of what you did or who you were with.

Alcohol Withdrawal

You should expect to suffer withdrawal symptoms if you have acquired an alcohol dependency and decide to stop drinking. These symptoms typically peak 24 to 72 hours after your last drink, but they might continue for weeks, depending on the individual and the severity of the dependency.

Outpatient treatment is available for those with mild to moderate symptoms. You should ask a loved one to be with you during this time, and you may need to see a physician for daily monitoring.

You may need inpatient treatment at a hospital or substance misuse facility if you are experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

Stages of Alcohol Dependence

Alcoholism is sometimes the outcome of a gradual descent into alcohol dependency. Alcoholism usually progresses via a series of stages:

Early Alcohol Abuse

According to the DSM-5, new alcohol users may exhibit 0-2 of the symptoms listed. The problem is that no one can predict whether social or occasional drinking will progress to an alcohol use disorder. During the early stages of alcohol consumption, a person will typically be exposed to various types of alcohol and will experiment with it in multiple forms.

Most of the time, the people who are experimenting are high school kids or young adults, such as college students. Drinking is usually a social event among this generation’s youth, and they binge drink as a kind of party. Even if they aren’t regular drinkers, binge drinking puts them at risk of developing an alcohol use problem. Binge drinking, according to experts, happens when a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher in less than two hours. This takes typically four drinks for women, depending on their body weight, and five drinks for males in two hours. However, many binge drinkers may consume more than four or five drinks, resulting in increased blood alcohol contents and a slew of unpleasant side effects.

Some binge or party drinkers will never go beyond the experimental stage and will continue to binge or party drink regularly. Those who continue to drink significantly or frequently may be prone to do so due to environmental or genetic factors. Children of people who have an alcohol use disorder, for example, are four times more likely to have the disorder themselves. Furthermore, research suggests that some aspects of a child’s home life, such as having a parent abuse alcohol or other drugs, or being exposed to a parent’s melancholy or family conflict/violence, can predispose them to alcohol consumption. Additionally, some individuals with a mental health problem may progress from social drinking to more frequent drinking because they believe it helps some of their psychiatric symptoms.

Aside from environmental and genetic factors, the sheer amount of drinks consumed over some time can put someone at risk of developing an alcohol use problem. Women who consume more than three drinks per day, or more than seven per week, are considered to be in danger. Men are deemed in danger if they consume more than four drinks per day or more than 14 per week due to physiological variations between men and women.

Middle-Stage Alcohol Dependence

As you advance through the intermediate stages of addiction, your drinking increases as you become more reliant on alcohol to operate normally. Controlling your drinking becomes extremely difficult as you experience intense cravings for alcohol and may physically require it to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can occur six to twenty-four hours after your last drink, including tremors, restlessness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. Mood swings, despair, and feelings of guilt or shame are all possible psychological signs.

You might start drinking early in the day and keep alcohol hidden in areas where it is easy to find. Middle-stage alcoholics are prone to impatience or rage when questioned about their drinking habits.

End-Stage Alcoholism

Alcoholism, at this point, is exceedingly harmful. Even at this point, it is still possible to recover completely from addiction, although it will be more challenging. Alcoholics in this stage, also known as the deteriorative stage, have been consumed by their drinking and have suffered considerable mental and physical harm. It’s impossible to stop drinking because it’s all-consuming. Professional intervention, alcohol detox, and rehabilitation are essential since withdrawal symptoms can be fatal if an addict attempts to quit “cold turkey.”

Late-stage alcoholics may have lost their house, family, and employment. The stomach, liver, and brain are likely to have been severely damaged.

Compassionate specialists can assist you in making a full recovery at any stage of alcoholism.

Relationship Between Alcohol and Other Substances

Alcohol can interact badly with various medications (including natural treatments). As a result, it’s generally advised to avoid drinking alcohol when taking medicine. The following are examples of common medicines (including over-the-counter medications) that interact negatively with alcohol:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Anxiety or depression medication
  • Aspirin
  • Cold and allergy medication

The consequences of mixing alcohol with medications are the following:

  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Accidents
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches
  • Low coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Liver damage
  • Cardiac problems
  • Depression
  • Breathing problems
  • Internal bleeding

Drug-alcohol interactions can be lethal in some cases.

Alcohol and Illicit Substances

The effects of illegal drugs while drinking are unclear, but mixing them with alcohol raises the risk of drug abuse. When drugs and alcohol are mixed, their effects are amplified, which can lead to health problems. Avoiding the use of illegal drugs, especially when drinking, is the safest option.

Alcohol is a depressive, and the results can be unexpected when used with stimulants like cocaine. The stimulant will try to speed up your body’s processes whilst the depressive will try to slow down your brain’s/central nervous system’s functions stressing your body. When alcohol is used with another depressant, such as heroin, the effects can be magnified, which can be harmful and even fatal.

In conclusion, the combination of alcohol and illegal narcotics has the potential to be fatal.

Teen Alcohol Dependence

Due to the prevalence of alcohol in modern British society, it remains quite easy for many young people to obtain alcohol and become intoxicated, despite the legal restrictions in place: 73% of 15-year-olds in the UK have used alcohol at least once. Even though alcohol is not legally available to under-18s in the UK, alcohol use and abuse is common among teenagers – and is even considered a rite of passage. However, alcohol consumption among teenagers has been declining since the millennium began.

For most teens, drinking alcohol and becoming inebriated is merely recreational, and the greatest risks of alcohol are alcohol-related injuries and overdose. A small but unfortunate fraction of teenagers, however, acquire alcohol consumption disorders: 6% of under-15s drink once a week, and 40% of those who start regularly drinking before age 13 will develop alcoholism later in life.

Top risk factors for teen alcohol addiction

  • Maltreatment or other trauma as a youngster
  • Behavioural or mental health issues (including ADHD).
  • Living in close proximity to bars and nightclubs
  • Peer group that consumes alcohol on a regular basis.
  • Additional types of substance abuse
  • Dullness and a sense of intellectual emptiness
  • Loneliness and bullying
  • Rejection, as well as a lack of self-assurance.
  • A lack of self-confidence

Alcohol Dependence and Pregnancy

Drinking anything more than small amounts of alcohol while pregnant puts the unborn child at risk for a group of conditions known as foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): low birth weight, short stature, low intelligence, hearing or vision problems, behavioural issues, small head size, poor coordination, and a generally abnormal appearance. The most severe FASD is foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which includes growth retardation, central nervous system impairment, the development of specific facial traits, and potentially alcohol dependence at birth.

Drinking a substantial amount of alcohol in one sitting while pregnant can result in the pregnancy being terminated. In the meantime, women who are not pregnant but are attempting to become pregnant are recommended to avoid alcohol altogether.

Alcohol Dependence in Older Adults

Your body’s tolerance for alcohol decreases as you get older. As a result, the effects of alcohol hit older persons faster than they would if they were younger. An older adult is dependent on alcohol puts them at a higher risk of physical damage resulting from falls. Aside from the chance of injury, there’s also the risk of developing health issues.

The following are some of the health issues that older drinkers may face:

  • Harmful medicine interactions
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Memory problems
  • Mood disorders
  • Osteoporosis

Cost of Alcohol Dependence to Society and NHS

Alcoholism has long been recognised as a social illness, with alcohol being outright banned in many parts of the world at various times. Addiction and abuse produce issues at all levels, from the individual to the family and community to the national level.

Alcohol is a crucial contributor to family disintegration, domestic violence, child abuse, violent crime, traffic and workplace accidents, and many other issues that have a negative financial and social impact. In many ways, this damage is unquantifiable – how can anyone put a price on broken hearts and families, for example? – but specific figures may be provided: for example, alcohol is projected to cost the NHS £3.5 billion per year.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Mental Health Issues & Alcohol Dependence

People who are addicted to alcohol frequently have mental health problems.

When you’re addicted to alcohol, you may experience anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. This is partly because heavy drinking disrupts the neurotransmitters in our brains that are necessary for mental health.

Alcoholism can have a negative impact on your relationships with your partner, family, and friends, as well as your work and finances. These situations can exacerbate depression and anxiety.

You may get more violent as a result of drinking alcohol. If you use alcohol to try to boost your mood, you may be setting yourself up for a downward spiral.

Diagnosis of Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol consumption disorders can be challenging to diagnose, especially when the patient is uncooperative or resistant to treatment. As previously stated, different authorities define alcoholism and alcohol abuse differently.

In many severe circumstances, identifying someone suffering from the effects of alcohol addiction or long-term alcohol misuse may be relatively simple. Various diagnostic approaches may be used to corroborate – or reject – a doctor’s conclusion in other circumstances.

Screening questionnaires

Various screening questionnaires have been developed to determine the existence and severity of an alcohol use disorder. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and the Fast Alcohol Screening Test, both of which are accessible through the NHS online or may be obtained from – and required by – your GP, are two of the most regularly utilised in the UK.

Blood tests

Aside from testing to determine the presence of alcohol in the blood, blood tests can be used to determine how much alcohol someone has taken recently and provide information about long-term alcohol abuse and the damage it has caused. GGT, bilirubin, ALT (alanine aminotransferase), and MCV (mean cell volume) are all tests that are regularly used in the UK to look at different aspects of alcohol intake and its effects on the body. Consult an alcohol addiction professional for further information on these tests.

Alcohol Dependence Treatment Options

When it comes to treating alcoholism, there are a plethora of options. Most addiction treatment, however, relies on a combination of detoxification/withdrawal and therapy, with the former addressing the immediate constraints of physical dependence and the latter addressing the underlying psychological difficulties that have led to the formation of addiction.

Alcohol Dependence withdrawal and detox

Alcohol withdrawal can be exceedingly harmful – even fatal – and can be extremely upsetting, with some very unpleasant symptoms. If you have acquired an alcohol addiction, however, detoxification is an essential treatment element: your system must be cleansed of alcohol and other substances of abuse before you can begin therapy to address your psychological addiction. Skilled specialists should only handle alcohol withdrawal. Never attempt to detox from alcohol on your own. If you’re worried about alcohol withdrawal, talk to your doctor or an addiction specialist like a member of Compare Rehab UK’s team.

Alcohol Dependence treatment and rehab

Many residential rehabilitation (rehab) facilities across the country now address alcohol addiction. Detoxification, therapy, and other aspects of a holistic treatment plan like exercise and dietary management, are usually provided at rehab centres. Inpatient or outpatient treatment is available, with stays ranging from one to three months in the former. Outpatient treatment is sometimes desirable for addicts who cannot take enough time away from their everyday life to attend residential treatment. Still, it can be challenging because it does not entirely remove the addict from their alcohol-abusing context.

Alcohol Dependence Therapy options

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

This tool will help you discover the negative attitudes and beliefs that have contributed to your self-destructive or harmful behaviours. You can overcome several issues by learning to question destructive ideas and developing healthy coping mechanisms, including substance addiction and behavioural disorders. You and your therapist will work together to solve your problems, and you may be assigned homework to complete between sessions.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a sort of cognitive behaviour therapy that was created to treat borderline personality disorder specifically. It teaches people how to recognise and respond to emotional dysregulation using mindfulness techniques and acceptance practices. It does, however, aid in the treatment of alcoholism.

Family Therapy

This therapy happens with significant people in your life. It is not limited to blood relatives or close relatives. Anyone who is an important support person in your life should be able to take part in your treatment. During family therapy sessions, you and your loved ones will meet with a counsellor or therapist to discuss issues that may have contributed to your condition within the family (and social) unit. It’s also an opportunity for your family members to discuss how your illness has impacted their lives. The idea is that by being more aware of one other’s needs and feelings, you can all work together to improve communication and discover how to overcome the problem.

Medications used in alcohol Dependence treatment

For a safe withdrawal from alcoholism, medically assisted detoxification is recommended. Detoxification is the first step toward recovery from alcoholism. You might not want to go through detox because severe withdrawal symptoms often accompany it. By monitoring a medically assisted detox, you may guarantee that the detox process is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. During the detox phase, it might considerably lessen withdrawal symptoms. Professional monitoring and management might also help you avoid relapsing after treatment.

Various drugs have been created to address multiple parts of alcohol addiction: some are designed to reduce and eventually eliminate drinking altogether. In contrast, others target specific components of withdrawal to alleviate symptoms and make the withdrawal process safer. While many of these medications can be obtained without a prescription, taking any addiction medication without medical advice is exceedingly dangerous. Do not self-medicate; talk to your doctor or an addiction specialist about possible medications.

Inpatient VS Outpatient Treatment

If your addiction is severe and you have co-occurring disorders, you should seek treatment at an inpatient facility, where you can receive medically assisted detox and round-the-clock care from medical professionals. Individuals with less severe addictions who choose a therapy that is compatible with their regular activities, including job or college, may benefit from an outpatient treatment programme.

Your rehabilitation can be supervised in a controlled atmosphere at an inpatient facility, allowing you to stay focused on sobriety and avoid pressures and triggers that would otherwise induce you to drink. For more information, contact Compare Rehab UK on 0800 999 1083.

How to Prevent Alcohol Dependence

Eventually, the only method to ensure that you will never acquire an alcohol addiction is never to drink any alcohol at all. However, for the vast majority of individuals, alcohol can be a pleasurable and harmless part of their life, and by drinking responsibly, the risk of addiction and health damage can be avoided.

Alcohol Dependence and Relapse Prevention

Even if you have successfully stopped drinking, there is no assurance that you will not relapse at some point in the future: rehabilitation is a continuous process that requires persistent effort and dedication. If you’ve been to rehab, you may have been given some relapse prevention strategies to use in your recovery but if you haven’t, check with an addiction specialist (or group) about such strategies. You must get professional help if your drinking has become a problem.

The following are some common relapse prevention strategies:

  • Recognising, avoiding, and identifying your triggers
  • Having a solid support system in place
  • Constructing distraction structures (such as regular exercise)
  • Reminding oneself of the risks of relapsing into addiction
  • Attending self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Taking part in counselling

It’s crucial to emphasise that relapsing does not automatically mean you’ll relapse into addiction. People make mistakes, and while relapses are serious, they do not have to be fatal if you seek the correct help.

Living With & Managing Life with Alcohol Dependence

It is possible to live with alcoholism for a long time – in fact, some “functioning alcoholics” are able to work in high-level positions while managing their addictions. However, alcoholism usually takes its toll on the addict’s mind and body in the end – and even before any long-term irreversible harm is done, the addict may experience great distress and other negative emotions as a result of their addiction.

If you drink excessively regularly and have tried and failed to stop, you have an alcohol addiction that might be fatal in the long run. Whatever you think your situation is now – and however much you like the alcohol you consume – you should seek help as soon as possible for the sake of the remainder of your life and those around you.

Helping Someone with Alcohol Dependence

It’s difficult to approach a loved one and advise them to get treatment for substance abuse. Most addicts are either unaware of their situation or choose to ignore it. Addiction has a way of changing people’s minds – therefore, it isn’t necessarily their fault. You must approach them gently to get through to a loved one about receiving addiction treatment.

The following are some helpful tips for helping your loved one to confront their addictions:

  • Avoid being accusatory or argumentative, as this might make a loved one defensive and avoidant. Some people may even lash out. Be kind when persuading a loved one to seek addiction treatment.
  • When trying to persuade a loved one to seek help, avoid getting into a fight with the addict and remain calm at all times. Try to reason with them while speaking in a calm tone.
  • Explain to a family member or friend how their addiction harms the lives and happiness of those around them. Most of the time, an addict is completely unaware of how their behaviours affect those around them.
  • If you want to get the best outcomes, don’t confront a loved one with their addiction on your own, and be sure to talk to them after they’ve gotten sober.
  • Last but not least, never surrender. It usually takes more than one attempt to persuade an alcoholic to stop abusing alcohol. Continue to work at it and be empathetic in your approach.

Look for a professional interventionist if you need help persuading a loved one to quit drinking.

Facts and Statistics About Alcohol Dependence

  • In 2019, it was estimated that there were over 600,000 dependent drinkers in England alone. In the United Kingdom, one in every 12 males (8.7%) and one in every 30 women (3.3%) show indicators of alcohol dependence.
  • Over 80% of adults in the UK consume alcohol regularly: 4% of men and 3% of women consume at least 50 and 35 units of alcohol per week, respectively.
  • In the United Kingdom, at least 21% of men and 13% of women aged 65 and up use alcohol daily.

Alcohol Addiction

Get Help for Alcohol Dependence Today!

Alcoholism can make you feel like you’ve lost control of your life. However, with the right support, you can regain control and return to a life of happiness and success. Speak with your doctor or an addiction specialist to get started on the road to a happier and healthier life.

Don’t let another day pass without admitting your alcoholism and seeking treatment. Contact your primary care physician or one of our addiction specialists on 0800 999 1083 for confidential help and to discuss treatment options.

Last Edited: September 19th, 2022
Clinically Reviewed: July 4, 2022
Clinical Reviewer


BACP accredited psychotherapist with 16 years experience working in mental health specialising in psychodynamic person-centred therapies treating those with a range of mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, OCD and Addiction.