Alcohol dependence

You do not need to be alcohol-dependent to get support from County Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services. However, here is some advice if you think you may be dependent:

What is Alcohol Dependence?

Being dependent on alcohol means you feel unable to function normally without alcohol in your system.

Signs of alcohol dependence include:

  • Increased tolerance to alcohol – you may find you need more alcohol to feel intoxicated.
  • Cravings to drink – these can vary in intensity.
  • Withdrawal symptoms like shaking and sweating, nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, and sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures and delirium tremens which include involuntary shaking, together with hallucinations and/or tactile disturbance such as crawling sensations on the skin.
  • Feelings of guilt associated with drinking.
  • Inability to stop drinking once you start.

Cutting down on alcohol when you’re dependent

When you are alcohol-dependent, reducing the amount you drink quickly without any support is dangerous. Stopping suddenly can lead to severe illness, including seizures, and can even be life-threatening.

If you’re dependent on alcohol, (or think you might be), you need support to help you cut down.

We will work with you to manage your withdrawal and help you safely and steadily reduce the amount you drink.

We will also help you set realistic goals and work with you to achieve them, giving you a better chance of making a lasting change.

If you’re not ready to speak to someone face to face, our trained staff can offer you free, confidential online advice about what to do next.