There is a fine line between social drinking or a couple glasses of wine each day, and when the drinking becomes an addiction. The process is usually so gradual that the person and their family and friends barely notice it is happening until it is already an addiction.
If you are concerned about a possible addiction to drugs or alcohol developing – regarding yourself, a loved one, or a co-worker – then it is important to know the subtle differences between use and abuse. Let’s talk about how to evaluate a person’s behavior in regard to drinking alcohol or using prescription drugs (or other chemicals), and where you can go in the Atlanta area for professional help in overcoming a potential addiction.
What Is Nonaddictive Use?
A person may take acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) regularly for arthritis pain or headaches. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like this is a problem only if it is taken too often, which means taking it more than what is indicated on the label. These medicines should be stopped for a while so that they do not cause harm to the liver and other organs.
Similarly, a person may take prescription medication to control a health issue, such as blood pressure medicine to control hypertension. If the person takes the medication per the prescribed dosage, there is not a problem with addiction.
Many adults worldwide drink alcoholic beverages to relax, toast a special occasion, or enjoy a meal. The general rule of thumb is a maximum of two drinks per day for a man and one drink per day for a woman; more than this could be a sign that an addiction is developing.
- Note: One 12-oz. beer = one 5-oz. wine = one 1.5-oz. shot of spirits (distilled liquor)
What Is Considered Drug or Alcohol Abuse or Addiction?
Abuse happens when the person’s life begins to center on the drug or alcohol. The person’s behaviors and moods change. Commitments aren’t met, and activities are missed due to (or in lieu of) the alcohol or substance. Financial, occupational, social, and familial problems start to develop.
Both legal and illegal chemicals can be abused if a person:
- Takes too much of a prescription medication
- “Borrows” prescription medication from a loved one or friend
- Uses a medication outside of its original purpose
- Sells their own medication to others because it provides an “upper” effect
- Mixes an over-the-counter medication with other substances in order to achieve a “high”
- Drinks alcohol every day beyond the recommended maximums (up to two drinks for a man, one drink for a woman)
Addiction Therapist in Atlanta and Alpharetta
If you’re wondering whether now is the time to seek addiction help, the answer is yes. Do not try to diagnose, analyze, or fix the situation yourself – leave it to professionals.
At Atlanta Specialized Care, our skilled counseling team is well-versed in all aspects of drug and alcohol use and abuse. Our compassionate therapists also understand co-morbidities, such as PTSD, OCD, anxiety, and depression.
There is hope. To schedule a consultation, contact our caring staff at Atlanta Specialized Care today by calling (770) 815-6853 or by filling out our online request form now. We are here to help you get onto a path back to wellness – and to enjoying life.