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Understanding Alcoholism and Addiction

It can be difficult to understand why some people are seemingly capable of drinking alcohol recreationally without becoming addicted while others become fully dependent on alcohol without ability to stop. Many factors play a role in whether or not a person will become addicted. If you are concerned about you or a loved one’s drinking habits it is important to fully understand what alcoholism is and how serious it can be.

Types of Alcohol Use


General alcohol use is determined by drinking in moderation and not achieving a dangerous BAC (blood alcohol content). Ensuring that the focus of the night is something other than alcohol and does not drink with the intention of becoming intoxicated. Alcohol use does not result in any consequences or behavioral changes.


Someone misusing alcohol will drink in excess and as a result, experience negative consequences such as: missing work or school, being arrested for DUI’s or assault and relationship issues. Alcohol abusers will experience things like: passing out, blackouts, tolerance, aggression and continued use despite of problems.


Those with a dependency to alcohol will put alcohol at the top of their priorities and develop cravings and withdrawal. Their drinking will become more and more frequent, hiding and sneaking drinks from friends and family to hide the amount they are consuming. They will lose control of how much they drink in a particular occasion. When and if they decide to quit drinking they will be unsuccessful for long periods of time.

Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease that is characterized by a loss of control. This means that once developed, the addiction is not only always there, it is also always getting worse. It is often misunderstood by those who are not alcoholic. The fact of the matter is that an addiction to alcohol is similar to the need to drink water such as feeling that it is necessary to survival.

Risk Factors for Alcoholism

  • Family history of addiction
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Mental disorders (depression, anxiety)
  • Using or drinking at an early age

Questions to See if You Have an Alcohol Problem

  1. Do you drink to escape your problems?
  2. Do you drink alone?
  3. Do you get into dangerous situations when drinking?
  4. Has your drinking gotten you in trouble with the law?
  5. Has drinking caused you to miss work or school?
  6. Do you gulp drinks?
  7. Do you lie to hide your drinking?
  8. Do you drink in the morning?
  9. Have you ever experienced memory loss when drinking?
  10. Do you drink more than you intend to?
  11. Have you ever attempted to stop drinking for a long period of time and failed?

If you have answered yes to any of the questions above you may have or be developing alcoholism. If you think you may be an alcoholic call (779) 220-0336 or come in to The Other Side today and meet others like you who are learning to overcome their addictions and live better lives. You are not alone!

Take this interactive alcohol abuse test for more clarification on your situation.


The Other Side
93 E Berkshire Dr, Unit G
Crystal Lake IL 60014
(779) 220-0336


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