Alcohol Addiction or Alcohol Dependence?

Regular alcohol consumption can make a person dependent on alcohol. Dependence is different from addiction.

When people regularly consume alcohol, their brains continuously adapt to its presence. The brain eventually reprograms itself to rely on alcohol to function. When that happens, a person becomes dependent on alcohol to feel normal.

When alcohol isn’t present, the brain reacts violently, causing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The more dependent a person is on alcohol, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will be.

Dependence isn’t addiction. But dependence often leads to addiction and makes recovering from addiction difficult. Addiction is a disease associated with repeated destructive behaviors despite negative consequences. People addicted to alcohol take risks to consume alcohol or continue to drink even though it causes problems.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.