Alcohol Addiction: Is alcoholism a Disease or Addiction?

Alcohol Addiction: Is alcoholism a Disease or Addiction?

The consumption of alcohol is a common thing, and the legal drinking age is 21 in America. According to SAMHSA, in 2014 there were 137 million current alcohol users under the age 12 or older. Among them, 23% are considered binge drinkers and 6.2% as heavy drinkers. Alcohol is socially accepted and promoted by the media as well. Many alcohol users slowly become addicted and get alcohol use disorder without being aware of it. Let’s understand the problem, learn how we can recognize alcohol addiction and cure it.

Alcohol Addiction: Is alcoholism a Disease or Addiction?

Is alcoholism a Disease or Addiction?

What is it that leads to alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction is the state of having unhealthy and dangerous drinking habits, drinking too much at a time. Alcoholism causes problems in many problems in your life, but you tend to ignore and act like there isn’t a problem. You start missing work, you indulge in drink and driving and getting yourself in trouble with the police, your social life takes a hit, you start becoming lonely.

As time passes, without realizing you create a dependency for alcohol. Alcohol dependency is called alcoholism. You strongly crave for drinking and think that you need to drink to get by your daily life.

 

But the question that arises is, is alcoholism a disease?

In 1956 American Medical Association (AMA) declared alcohol addiction and other drugs as a disease. The definition includes malfunction in the human body with signs and symptoms that are not caused by any physical injury. According to some, alcohol abuse leads to the following consequences:

  • Primary: The illness exists in or of itself but manifests in addition to another disease.
  • Chronic: Unable to leave alcohol and fail with unsuccessful attempts to be sober.
  • Progressive: The abuse of alcohol gets worse by time.
  • Symptomatic: The effects of alcohol can be seen in the person’s behavior, health, and lifestyle.
  • Fatal: If not treated, can result in death

 

How do you know you have alcohol use disorder?

To determine whether or not you have alcohol abuse disorder we have to look at the level of severity of the person’s condition. Are the symptoms of alcoholism mild, medium or severe? Here are some of the symptoms that act as a warning sign to gauge situation:

  • The person is unable to limit the consumption of alcohol.
  • After continuous efforts to reduce and stop alcohol abuse the person fails and relapses to old habits.
  • Spends a lot of time around alcohol – getting it, drinking or getting sober.
  • Has a strong desire to consume alcohol frequently.
  • The effects of alcohol consumption are seen in the person’s work, family, and health. Failing to meet work and family expectations and having a bad work-life balance.
  • Even after being aware of the ill-effects of alcohol abuse, you are unable to stop alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid social life – being lonely and staying away from friends and family.
  • Consuming alcohol in risky situations, for instance, drinking and driving.
  • Built a tolerance with alcohol and now having to consume more to feel its effects.
  • Noticing withdrawal symptoms of alcohol like nausea, sweating, shaking when you are not under the influence of alcohol.

 

What to do if you have alcohol use disorder?

If you identify any of the symptoms related to alcohol use disorder mentioned above do not hesitate to consult a doctor. We suggest you seek a family doctor or a doctor you know well. It makes it easier to speak about your problems without hesitation. Your doctor should be able to prescribe you proper medication or guide you in the right direction.

You can also choose to join a support group or self-help group in your locality which helps alcoholics similar to you. For instance, Alcoholics Anonymous does a fantastic job of assisting alcoholics to stay sober and achieve sobriety.

It’s common to see a denial amongst alcoholics about their situation. Some are even unaware of the condition. In such cases, it is often wise to listen to friends and family who care about you. You can also talk to people who have had successful results achieving sobriety.

 

Get professional help

Last but not the least, it is never too late to get professional help. Often patients are ignorant and refuse to get help. A careful intervention from a loved one can help them recognize the problem. If you know someone who drinks too much, get in touch. Grant Pain Management Clinic provides Alcohol Home Detox Program at home. For more information call us at 9284681337.

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