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The Hangover: Tired of being Sick and Tired?

How is it that we can experience something as awful as a hangover and yet let ourselves have more than one of them? A hangoveA woman is recovering from an alcohol hangoverr can be one of the worst feelings in the world: the headache, the spins, aching body, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting. Some of us even promise ourselves: never again, only to repeat the behavior the next weekend or a few days later. When this cycle starts to repeat, how do we know when we’ve crossed the line from enjoyable social drinking to more problematic drinking? When is a hangover a warning sign and not just a nuisance?

If you find yourself vowing to not drink as much each week and then breaking it or spending all day in bed with a hangover, you may be at risk for alcohol abuse. Aside from negatively impacting your mental and physical health, this behavior could lead to dependency. So what’s the difference between alcohol abuse and dependency?

Some warning signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Making poor choices when drinking such as drinking and driving.
  • Alcohol is at the root of relationship problems. Alcohol seems to fuel fights with loved ones.
  • Alcohol is getting in the way of your responsibilities such as work or school.
  • Using alcohol as a way to relax or de-stress.

Alcohol dependence is more severe and might require professional help. Some signs of alcohol dependence are:

  • Tolerance. This is when your body needs more alcohol to feel the effects it once did.
  • Withdrawal. Some of the symptoms that appear when one experiences withdrawal are: sweating, insomnia, irritability, depression, anxiety, shaking, cravings, and more.

It’s important to remember that every person is different. How an alcohol problem looks can vary with each individual. So you need to be honest with yourself about your drinking habits and whether they are interfering with your life.

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