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your drinking - worrried about your drinking - dependence

What is dependence?

Dependence is another way of saying ‘addiction’. Dependence on alcohol means that you’re no longer in full control of your drinking. 

 Some key facts about dependence

  • You may carry on drinking even though you know it’s causing problems.
  • You may feel you need alcohol to cope, relax or enjoy yourself.
  • You may get withdrawal symptoms if you don’t drink. These include craving alcohol, sweating, shaking and nausea. Read more about withdrawal symptoms.

Dependence affects people in different ways

Everyone has their own drinking pattern and their own relationship with alcohol. 

Some people drink every day, some people can stop drinking for various periods of time such as Lent or Dry January to convince themselves of their ability to stop.

However, you can still have a dependent relationship with alcohol, even if you stop for a time.

Dependence is about what happens when people do drink: What is their pattern like? What are the consequences for themselves and others?


Read more:

How can I tell if I’m dependent on alcohol?

How does dependence develop?

Psychological dependence - dependent drinking and your emotions

Accepting the problem – Are you in denial?

I’m worried about my drinking. What can I do?



O'Driscoll, C. (2014) Addiction: A Guide to Understanding its Nature & Essence. Nova Science Pub 

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