Can High Alcohol Tolerance Be an Indicator For Addiction?
By: Zinnia Healing Editorial Staff | Edited By: Rebecca Hill
What You Need to Know About High Alcohol Tolerance and Alcohol Use Disorder
Having a high alcohol tolerance can be an indicator of addiction. The amount of alcohol you need to drink to feel its intoxicating effects can increase after regular heavy drinking sessions. Although the amount of alcohol you drink may increase if you’re attending a party or other social drinking session, binge drinking or heavy drinking regularly can lead to alcohol use disorder.
Having a higher alcohol tolerance doesn’t always mean you have an alcohol use disorder, but it can be a sign. Keep reading if you are concerned about your alcohol tolerance or drinking behaviors.
If your alcohol consumption affects your daily life or leads to health problems, call us at (855) 430-9439 and learn about the treatments available at your nearest Zinnia Healing detox center.
What Is High Alcohol Tolerance?
Having a high alcohol tolerance means you need to drink more than other people to feel the effects of alcohol. Alcohol tolerance can be complicated. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests there are several kinds of alcohol tolerance. These include:
1. Metabolic Tolerance
Metabolic tolerance relates to a person’s metabolic rate and how quickly their body expels alcohol. Certain liver enzymes are activated after a heavy drinking session which increases the speed at which alcohol stays in the body and reduces the effects of intoxication.
2. Acute Tolerance
Acute tolerance is when a person feels the effects of alcohol after a small amount of alcohol consumption during a drinking session. However, the impairment felt will subside as the person continues to drink more in the same session. This can cause them to drink more to try and replicate the initial intoxicating effects.
3. Functional Tolerance
Functional tolerance relates to the brain’s ability to adapt to alcohol’s effects and is often seen in those who regularly partake in heavy drinking sessions. Someone with a functional tolerance may show limited signs of intoxication despite having high levels of alcohol in their blood. Functional dependence can indicate alcohol dependence.
You may have a high alcohol tolerance if you feel the need to drink a greater amount of alcohol than others to feel the effects. The CDC defines alcohol misuse as an average of more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women.
Alcohol misuse may lead to a range of health problems and problems in your everyday life.
Does High Tolerance Always Mean Alcohol Dependence?
Although having a high alcohol tolerance can be a sign of AUD or alcohol dependence, this isn’t always the case. Some people naturally have a higher tolerance; some social drinkers may not display signs of intoxication as visibly as others.
However, heavy drinking over time can increase your chances of developing alcohol dependence and an alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol use disorder causes physical and behavioral health problems. If you are drinking alcohol frequently and find alcohol’s effects addictive, you may need to enter a treatment program. Call (855) 430-9439 or send us a message to talk to us about the options we have available.
What Is an Alcohol Use Disorder?
An alcohol use disorder is an addiction relating to the compulsive and dependent need to drink and experience alcohol’s effects. Although anyone can develop the disorder, those with a family history of substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder (AUD) are at high-risk. An AUD can significantly affect life quality, leading to various behavioral health problems and long-term health conditions.
Getting treatment for an AUD as early as possible is essential to prevent future physical and mental health problems. Furthermore, entering treatment can give someone with an AUD a chance to rebuild the life they have lost to alcohol.
Treatment for alcohol addiction begins with detox. This is where the person abstains from alcohol consumption and allows their body to rid itself of all traces of alcohol. Following this, treatment programs will focus on the person’s behavioral health and target the psychological impact of alcohol addiction through behavioral therapies.
What Are the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder?
If you’re concerned about your own alcohol consumption or have concerns for a loved one, it’s a good idea to know the signs of alcohol use disorder. Someone with an AUD may display the following signs:
- Experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, agitation, and anxiety when not drinking
- Cravings for the effects of alcohol
- Being unable to stop thinking about alcohol, spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from alcohol’s effects
- Blackouts after heavy drinking sessions, being unable to remember what happened the night before
- Difficulties in personal relationships, at school, or at work
- Drinking alcohol and performing dangerous activities, such as driving or operating machinery
- Withdrawing socially unless alcohol is involved
- No longer taking part in activities you once enjoyed
- Developing a high alcohol tolerance and needing to drink more than you once did to feel alcohol’s effects
An AUD is a serious health condition requiring specialist treatment. Alcohol tolerance is a key indicator of alcohol addiction. If you relate to any of the signs above, you may require alcohol addiction treatment.
Get Help for High Alcohol Tolerance or Addiction Today
If heavy drinking is a problem in your life or the life of a loved one and you think you/they may have an alcohol use disorder, we can help. Recovering from an alcohol use disorder is possible with the proper support.
We offer a comprehensive treatment approach to combat all areas of addiction. Our programs focus on detoxification and behavioral health treatments.
At Zinnia Healing, you’ll always have a strong support network of addiction professionals nearby. Alcohol addiction is a progressive illness requiring professional treatment. Whether your concerns about your drinking habits are recent or you’ve been worried for some time, it’s never too late to get help.
We offer support to anyone with an alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder and use a range of alcohol and substance abuse treatments.
Recognizing alcohol use disorder is the first step. The next step is calling us to discuss our treatment options. Our number is (855) 430-9439, or alternatively, send us a message.