The weekend came with a joyous announcement from President Cyril Ramaphosa, and tomorrow will be an even more joyous occasion as South Africans will be able to buy alcohol legally once again

Many social and casual drinkers will be relieved to finally be able to drink their favourite “bevs” as they like, as opposed to the pedantic rationing to which we had all become accustomed. The prohibition of alcohol has forced many South African’s to recognise themselves as being alcohol dependent or alcoholics. Are you one of them?

Related: Going ‘cold turkey’ can have serious physical & psychological consequences for alcoholics

You were willing to pay any amount

During the weeks of prohibition, finding alcohol turned into a popular pass time for South Africans. We bargain hunted online, shared sad stories of being duped into buying bottles of vinegar for hundreds of rands and a few people flexed their entrepreneurial muscle selling off their booze stashes for a pretty profit.

While this may have seemed like fun and games, for alcoholics no price seemed too ridiculous.

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One of the main signs of addiction is the misuse of money to feed your addictions. While this may have meant making financial sacrifices to drink more in the past, more recently it has meant making unreasonable financial sacrifices just to drink.

Related: Ditch those ‘legal addictions’ – and reclaim your brain

You suffered physical withdrawal symptoms

As a habitual drinker you may not have realised a developing alcohol dependency; whether it’s a hankering headache if you don’t have a drink, not being able to fall asleep without a glass of wine or even something more serious.

As with all addictive substances, withdrawing from alcohol can contribute to physical and mental illness for those who have developed a dependency.

You cannot function without a drink

Whether it’s a tot to calm your nerves so you can focus on tasks you perform daily or a swig to get the creative juices flowing, needing alcohol to function means you have become dependent on it.

High functioning alcoholism can be difficult to recognise because high functioning alcoholics don’t seem drunk and disorderly. On the contrary, their alcohol dependence may look like the secret to their success.

Being forced to ration their alcohol intake or stop drinking completely could have thrown the high functioning alcoholics into a tailspin and made simple everyday tasks they can do effortlessly after a drink seem insurmountable.

Related: Brad Pitt gets candid about his alcohol addiction

For more information or help with alcoholism contact Alcoholics anonymous


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