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Why do I keep drinking more when I want to stop?

Ken Bachrach
Psychology
One of the diagnostic criteria for substance dependence or addiction is that a person has “a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.”   The inability to stop is due to a number of factors.  Often it can be the fear of or the actual onset of withdrawal symptoms.  Also, your brain may be sending you signals to continue using, which you may interpret as “cravings” to use.  Also, you may be experiencing physical pain or uncomfortable feelings or emotions that you want to push away through your use of substances.
There are many reasons why people may drink more than they think is good for them. Sometimes once a person has had a few drinks, it can be very difficult to stop further drinking. Alcohol use tends to lower inhibitions and resistance to impulses, even when we know it may not be a good idea to act on them. Continuing to drink even after trying to stop is also a strong indication that a problem could be developing.  It is a good idea to consult with a qualified professional.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.