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What are alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence?
- You cannot quit drinking or control how much you drink.
- You need to drink more to get the same effect.
- You have withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. These include feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.
- You spend a lot of time drinking and recovering from drinking, or you have given up other activities so you can drink.
- You have tried to quit drinking or to cut back the amount you drink but haven't been able to.
- You continue to drink even though it harms your relationships and causes physical problems.
How much drinking is too much?
- A woman who has more than 3 drinks at one time or more than 7 drinks a week. A standard drink is 1 can of beer, 1 glass of wine, or 1 mixed drink.
- A man who has more than 4 drinks at one time or more than 14 drinks a week.
What are some signs of alcohol abuse or dependence?
- Drinking in the morning, often being drunk for long periods of time, or drinking alone.
- Changing what you drink, such as switching from beer to wine because you think it will help you drink less or keep you from getting drunk.
- Feeling guilty after drinking.
- Making excuses for your drinking or doing things to hide your drinking, such as buying alcohol at different stores.
- Not remembering what you did while you were drinking (blackouts).
- Worrying that you won't get enough alcohol for an evening or weekend.