A lot of people find themselves asking the question, “What is Alcohol Addiction“? For the vast majority of people, drinking alcohol is a pleasant experience. This is especially the case when people are engaged in recreational and social activities and when their drinking behavior can be considered as “moderate.” Moderate alcohol use means having up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. In most situations, moreover, drinking in moderation is not harmful to most adults.
A relatively large number of individuals, however, simply cannot have any alcoholic beverages because of the obstacles they experience when drinking, including alcohol addiction.
Since roughly 14 million Americans abuse alcohol or are alcoholics, the group of individuals who should not or can not drink alcohol is a sizeable and a considerable amount of people. This group of individuals needs to learn how to reduce or eliminate their alcoholism symptoms and alcoholism signs and get the alcohol treatment they need.
Consider the following: recent alcohol addiction research shows that roughly 53 percent of the adults in the United States has articulated that one or more of their close relatives has a drinking problem that requires professional alcohol rehabilitation. This is one of the most notable alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics that indicates the extent of problem drinking in the U.S.
Differences Between Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Addiction
Since the two terms “abuse” and “addiction” are so similar, a number of people ask the following questions: what is alcohol abuse, what is alcohol addiction, and what is the difference between the two terms? Many people incorrectly think that alcohol abuse and alcoholism are the same.
This assumption seems to make some sense but is incorrect. As a way of clarification, alcohol abuse, unlike alcohol addiction, does not include physical dependence on alcohol and does not necessarily include an extremely strong desire for alcohol or the need to drink larger amounts of alcohol in order to feel “high” or to experience a “buzz.”
What is Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that effects in one or more of the following situations in a twelve-month time period:
- Drinking in instances that can result in physical injury. Examples include driving a vehicle or operating machinery.
- Continued drinking in spite of ongoing relationship obstructions that are the result of drinking.
- Failure to attend to important responsibilities at work, home, or school.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Many people have friends, relatives, or family members who are alcoholic. What exactly, does this mean? Stated differently, what defines alcohol addiction? Also known as alcoholism and alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction is a progressive debilitating disease that includes the following four signs and symptoms:
- Craving: A strong and continuing compulsion or need to drink.
- Tolerance: The need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol in order to “feel the buzz” or to “get high.”
- Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms when a person stops drinking after a period of excessive drinking. Such symptoms include anxiety, sweating, nausea, and “the shakes.”
- Loss of control: The inability to limit one’s drinking over time or on any given occasion.
The Damaging and Ruinous Effects of Alcoholism
The consequences of alcohol addiction are not only serious but are often terminal. For instance, excessive drinking can increase the risk for certain cancers, such as cancer of the liver, rectum, colon, larynx, esophagus, and the kidneys.
Heavy drinking can also lead to immune system obstructions, cirrhosis of the liver, harm to the fetus while the mother is pregnant, chronic alcoholism, and brain damage. Many people are not aware of the severe consequences of alcoholism on your immune system. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of death from motor vehicle accidents as well as work-related and recreational and accidents and injuries. Additionally, individuals who have been drinking alcohol are more likely to commit homicides and suicides.
And finally, research has shown that there is a strong correlation between alcoholism and depression. When this is the case, the person needs to be treated for both medical problems.
In summary, some of the negative consequences that are directly or indirectly related to alcoholism are failed health, wife battering, injuries, child abuse, destroyed lives, illnesses, fatalities, and broken homes. All of these signs require immediate professional treatment or counseling.
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Statistics
Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction statistics make a real impact on people’s consciousness. With this in mind, the following alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics are listed below:
- 3 million Americans over the age of 60 are alcoholics or have serious drinking issues.
- In the United States in 2004, 16,694 deaths occurred as a result of alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes. This amount was roughly 39% of all traffic fatalities. This amounts to one alcohol-related death every 31 minutes.
- The 9.6% of adult alcoholics drink 25% of the alcohol that is consumed by all adult drinkers.
- Every day in the United States more than 13,000 children and teens take their first drink.
- Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.
- Every year in the U.S. more than 150,000 college students develop alcohol-related health problems.
- 66% of the population in the United States consumes alcohol.
- 3.1 million Americans, roughly 1.4% of the population 12 and older, received treatment for alcoholism and alcohol-related obstructions in 1997.
Alcoholism Signs and Alcoholism Symptoms
What are the signs and symptoms that define this disease? To help answer this, the following lists identifiable symptoms and signs that exist in the four stages of alcoholism.
First Stage of Alcoholism
- Lack of recognition by the individual that he or she is in the early stages of a progressive disease
- Gross Drinking Behavior – more frequent drinking of greater amounts
- A conscious effort to seek out more drinking opportunities
- An ability to drink great amounts of alcohol without any apparent impairment
Second Stage of Alcoholism
- Sneaking extra drinks before social events
- Unsuccessful attempts to stop drinking
- More frequent blackouts
- Physical problems increase
- Gulping the first few drinks to feel the “high” faster
- Chronic hangovers
- Drinking because of dependence rather than for stress relief
Third Stage of Alcoholism
- Neglect of necessities such as food
- Avoidance of family and friends
- The development of a system of excuses for their drinking behavior
- Half-hearted attempts at seeking alcoholism help
- The loss of control has become a pattern
- Increased tremors
- An increase in problems with the law (such as multiple DUIs)
Fourth Stage of Alcoholism
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
- “The shakes”
- Unreasonable resentments and hostility toward others
- Continual loss of control
- Benders, or lengthy intoxications
- Moral deterioration
- The “DTs”
A review of the alcoholism symptoms and alcoholism warning signs presented above displays a host of problems that affect virtually every aspect of the alcoholic’s life. More than anything, however, these symptoms and signs point to the need for the alcohol dependent person to get the proper help he or she requires in order to stop drinking, detoxify his or her body, and start on the road to alcohol recovery.
The Need for Alcoholism Addiction Help
If you observe your friends or family members demonstrating any of the above alcoholism symptoms or alcoholism warning signs, they may need professional alcoholism help. Furthermore, they may need to enter into a hospital or an alcohol addiction rehab facility where they can get the alcoholism treatment that works best for their drinking situation.
Sadly, until alcohol-dependent individuals truly want to quit drinking and seek alcoholism help, their chance of sobriety and alcohol recovery will be difficult.
Often, non-drinkers fail to understand that alcohol-addicted individuals cannot use willpower or self-control to refrain from drinking. Fortunately, with the help of Sunflower Wellness Retreat, a number of alcohol-dependent individuals do decide to quit drinking, receive the alcoholism help they need, remain sober, and make progress every day in their struggles to stay on the road to alcohol recovery.
Is There A Cure For Alcoholism?
While there is no known cure for alcoholism addiction, recovery from alcoholism is, fortunately, possible. With the help of assistance programs and treatment centers such as Sunflower Wellness Retreat, alcoholics can receive the medical treatment, counseling, and education that they need to recover from their addiction. Through therapy, rehab, support, and professional alcoholism help, many alcoholics are able to stay “safe and sober” as they work on reestablishing their lives.
Source: Alcohol Addiction Info
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