Understanding Alcohol Dependence


This resource provides answers to some of the most common questions about treatment, the recovery process, and the various options for help with alcohol dependence and addiction.


How do you know if you are drinking too much?

It can be difficult to know if social drinking is taking a more serious turn. What seems normal and fun one day can become out of control seemingly overnight. How can you tell if frequent drinking is becoming problem drinking? Being honest with yourself, can you admit to any of the following:

  1. Your social life revolves around alcohol
  2. You fear running out of booze
  3. You get frustrated when people drink slowly
  4. You drink before going out for social events
  5.  Others have expressed concern about your drinking….[read more]

Detoxing from Alcohol

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Detoxing From Alcohol

Often the first step in addressing problem drinking is detoxing from alcohol. Going cold-turkey is ok for some, but for certain heavy drinkers, it can be deadly. The sudden removal of alcohol can cause hallucinations, convulsions, seizures and even heart failure that could result in death.  Of course these symptoms will vary dependent upon the severity and length of an individual’s drinking history. Longer-term symptoms like insomnia and anxiety are often eased with the support of a 12-step group, counselor or treatment facility…..[read more]

Risk factors for Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder, which can progress to the more serious level of alcoholism, is a complex problem that doesn’t have a single cause. Nevertheless, according to data from the Mayo Clinic, the following factors can contribute:

  • Steady drinking over time. Drinking too much on a regular basis for an extended period or binge drinking on a regular basis can lead to alcohol-related problems or alcohol use disorder.
  • Starting at an early age. People who begin drinking — especially binge drinking — at an early age are at a higher risk of alcohol use disorder.
  • Family history. The risk of alcohol use disorder is higher for people who have a parent or other close relative who has problems with alcohol. This may be influenced by genetic factors.
  • Depression and other mental health problems. It’s common for people with a mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to have problems with alcohol or other substances.
  • History of trauma. People with a history of emotional or other trauma are at increased risk of alcohol use disorder.
  • Social and cultural factors.Having friends or a close partner who drinks regularly could increase your risk of alcohol use disorder


Quiz: Do You Have a Drinking Problem?

Alcoholics Anonymousdeveloped the following set of questions to help individuals determine if they have a drinking problem:

  • Do you drink because you have problems? To face up to stressful situations?
  • Do you drink when you get mad at other people, your friends or parents?
  • Do you often prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?
  • Are you starting to get low marks? Are you skiving off work?
  • Do you ever try to stop or drink less – and fail?
  • Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?
  • Do you gulp your drinks as if to satisfy a great thirst?
  • Do you ever have loss of memory due to your drinking?
  • Do you avoid being honest with others about your drinking?
  • Do you ever get into trouble when you are drinking?
  • Do you often get drunk when you drink, even when you do not mean to

Only you can determine if your drinking is out of hand. If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, you may want to take a closer look at your drinking and its impact on your life.
Alcohol is everywhere – and a deeply embedded part of our culture. Nevertheless, the effects of problem drinking run deep and wide.

Do you have a drinking problem?

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What should i do?

If you can’t imagine life either with alcohol or without it, it may be time to seek help. Others have successfully recovered, and are living proof that a life without booze can be happy, joyous, and free. Visit our Recovery Resources section, listen to a sober speaker, or reach out for help here. You are not alone, and although alcoholism can’t be cured, it can be treated.

There is no cure for addiction, but people can and do recover. Reach out today. Help is available, and another life is possible.

Understanding Treatment

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About Us

Recovery Speakers is an online community that aims to offer support, resources, and information to those affected by alcoholism, drug addiction, and addiction in any other form it takes. We are home to the largest single online audio library of recovery talks—spanning some 70 years—and a wide range of 12-step fellowships, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and others. We seek to give people a meeting when there are none, preserve the rich legacy and history of the 12 step fellowships, and support one another through the community created here. Welcome, and keep coming back.