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Dependent Drinking

It is possible to become dependent on alcohol both physically and psychologically.

In general terms a woman who drinks seventy (70) units or more on a regular basis would be considered physically dependent as would a man drinking one hundred (100) units or more.

The key word here is regularly.  Someone, for instance, may go on holiday and drink over 100 units a week for two weeks but when they return home reduce their alcohol use to around 20 units a week. They would not be considered dependent however their holiday use is hazardous and harmful.  Their 20 units per week could also be considered hazardous and harmful.

Someone who drinks around 100 units ,on average, every week would be considered physically dependent on alcohol.  If they were to stop their alcohol use suddenly then they may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Dependency means a person is unable to function without the use of alcohol. It also means that alcohol has become a very important part of their life and that the person has to drink more alcohol for the desired effect.

The range of dependence will range from moderately dependent at the lower end of the spectrum, where memory loss, anxiety, depression and slight tremors are felt to severely dependent where severe withdrawal symptoms, seizures, and hallucinations are common.

Severely dependent alcohol users may eventually arrive at alcohol agencies or services when they are drinking, on average, 300 units per week regularly.

Dependency carries with it a range of problems outwith the scope of this website.

If you feel you are at this level of drinking then the other sources of help may be of more assistance to you.

Click here to read more about dependency

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