SOURCE: Georgia Regents University and Health System, news release, April 20, 2015
TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than 17 million Americans suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. But not everyone can tell when heavy drinking crosses the line to alcoholism.
To help people identify when drinking becomes a problem, Dr. William Jacobs, chief of addiction medicine at Georgia Regents University's Medical College of Georgia, outlined five major signs of alcohol abuse or dependence:
If you or someone you know has these signs of alcohol addiction, help is available. Talk to your doctor and/or seek professional counseling, Jacobs advised.
Long-term alcohol use can harm every organ in your body, including your brain, according to Jacobs. Alcohol abuse can also damage your career, finances, emotional stability, and adversely impact your family and friends, he noted.
"Alcohol use disorders are equal opportunity diseases. People from all walks of life are affected, but with the appropriate treatment and care, lifelong recovery is possible," he said.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more about alcohol use disorders.