Compulsive drinking is similar to other forms of addiction. Individuals who drink compulsively have a difficult time resisting the urge to drink. In the beginning, a person may be able to control the urge, but the more alcohol they consume, the harder it is to resist the desire.
Some medical professionals do not believe compulsive drinking is a disease. Instead they believe it is a behavior that leads to disease, including diseases associated with addiction and alcoholism. The following symptoms indicate the transition from being a compulsive drinker to an alcoholic:
- Inability to stop drinking on their own
- Steals or borrows money to buy alcohol
- Steals the alcohol outright
- Tries to hide the act of drinking or their stash of bottles
Most alcoholics start out as compulsive or binge drinkers who steadily progressed from one extreme to the other. In the beginning, they may be able to understand the difference between one or two beers at the local bar and a case of beer at home. As they continue into the downward spiral, they become less and less able to distinguish the impact each of the extremes has on them.
It may take the watchful eye of a friend or family member to catch the signs. As the condition changes from a habit to an illness, the person’s body begins to bear the signs of the abuse. They may be less likely to maintain the same level of activity as before. Their thought processes may slow down and they may become irritable when they have not been able to drink for long periods of time.
Compulsive drinking is as damaging as any other addiction. It damages the body and hinders the mind. Getting treatment in the earliest stages is the best way to prevent long term physical damage.