According to a special health report in the Harvard Health Letter (special supplement January 2002), nearly 14 million Americans (1 in every 13 adults) suffer from severe alcohol problems such as alcohol dependence or abuse while millions more engage in risky drinking.” Four common signs of alcohol dependence given in this report are:
Craving - There is a strong need or compulsion to drink.
Loss of Control – Dependent drinkers will drink when they have promised not to and will continue even when they realize they have had too much.
Physical Dependence – Dependent drinkers will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop abruptly or sometimes when they cut down on their consumption.
Tolerance – Dependent drinkers need increased amounts of alcohol in order to become intoxicated.