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AUD: How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Alcohol?

Many people wonder if it is possible to become addicted to alcohol quickly. In the past few years, the pandemic has taken a toll on many people. As a result, many people may have turned to alcohol use to cope with anxiety, boredom, or loneliness. But is it possible to be addicted to alcohol after just a year or two? Yes, it is! Alcohol is a highly addictive substance. Many people struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD).

While you may realize that alcohol abuse is a problem, you may think it’s not possible to be addicted to something you have been doing to excess for only a few years. However, alcohol abuse can be dangerous no matter how long you do it.

Sometimes, people who abuse alcohol are diagnosed with alcohol use disorder.

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder, also sometimes called alcohol addiction, is a progressive and dangerous mental health issue. It also affects your physical health when you drink to excess. But can drinking hard for just a few years cause damage?

The answer is yes; everybody is different, and their bodies even adapt to alcohol addiction differently. You may or may not experience withdrawal symptoms if you drink at the same time every day right now; but if you continue to abuse alcohol, you probably will build a tolerance to it. With alcohol use disorder, you may find yourself craving alcohol or looking forward to a binge on the weekend, and your body will signal that craving via withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol use disorder is another way professionals describe an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. There is no set amount of time it takes to become addicted to alcohol, and there is no specific amount of alcohol that a person can drink to be called an alcoholic. Alcohol use disorder describes the obsession and compulsion to drink, despite harmful consequences.

Do You Drink Too Much? And Other Negative Consequences

Excessive drinking, especially when you planned on limiting your drinks, is a characteristic of alcohol use disorder. You may end up having a drink when said you weren’t going to, drink more than you want, drink four or more alcoholic beverages in an evening, or continue to drink despite negative consequences.

If drinking is making you unhappy, but you continue to drink, or you have suffered legal or financial ramifications, such as an arrest or loss of a job, you probably have an alcohol use disorder. However, you don’t have to have physical withdrawal or hit “rock bottom” to do something about an alcohol problem.

People from all walks get sober. You don’t have to lose it all to begin healing.

You also can become addicted to a substance quickly if you feel it provides you comfort or fills a need for escapism.

Getting Help for Alcohol Use Disorder

Are you ready to live a life free of substances? We’re here to help you get started on your journey to recovery and serenity. Please call us at US (949) 279-1376 • MX (612) 153-5726 to learn more.




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Hi! I’m Melissa Stailey, a freelance writer that loves to cook. I live and work in Washington, DC.