Also On This Page:
Alcoholism
Is alcoholism a disease?
Likely Abusers
Does treatment work?
Do I have a problem?

What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism, known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that carries four basic symptoms related to alcohol consumption:
Craving- the urge to drink alcohol
Loss of control- The inability to stop drinking or control the amount of intake.
Physical dependence- A feeling or need for alcohol, commonly reffered to as withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms during a “detox” period can include nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
Tolerance- The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get “high”.

Is Alcohol Abuse A Disease?

Yes alcoholism is a disease. The craving that an alcoholic feel for alcohol can be as strong as the need. Someone suffering from alcohol abuse will often continue to drink regardless of serious health, family, or legal problems.

Like many other diseases, alcoholism is chronic, meaning it lasts a lifetime. After alcohol detox, a person isn’t magically cured and cannot return to a life of occasional social drinking. Dedication to remain alcohol free lasts long after the detox.

Are Some People More Likely to Abuse Alcohol than others?

Yes, studies have shown that the risk for developing alcoholism is influenced both by a person’s genes and by his/her lifestyle

Is Alcoholism Inherited?

The risk for developing alcohol addiction runs in families. Inherited genes partially explain this pattern, but lifestyle cannot be underestimated. Currently, researches are trying to decipher which genes put people at risk to alcohol addiction. Friends, stress levels, and availability of alcohol are all variable that can affect a person’s risk to alcohol addiction.
But risk and inevitability are two drastically different things. Just because alcohol addiction tends to run in a family doesn’t mean other family members are subject to some sort of preordained life of alcoholism. People with no family history can develop a drinking problem.

Can Alcoholism be cured?
No, alcoholism cannot be cured presently. Even if an alcoholic hasn’t been drinking for a long period of time, he/she can still suffer a relapse. To prevent relapse, and lcoholis must continue to refrain from consuming all alcoholic beverages.

Does Alcoholism Treatment Work?

Alcoholism treatment works for many people, but like any disease there are varying levels of success. Some people are able to stop drinking and remain sober while others have longs periods of sobriety with bouts of relapse, while others struggle greatly to stop drinking. But the longer a person stays sober, the likelihood of that person remaining alcohol free increases greatly.

Do you have to be an alcoholic to experience problems?

No, alcoholism is one type of alcohol problem. Alcohol abuse can be just as dangerous. Drinking too much and too often can result in the following problems: missing work, school, or family responsibilities; car accidents and drunk driving; and drinking related medical conditions

How do I tell if I have a problem?

These four questions usually help:
• Have you ever felt you should cut down your drinking?
• Do people criticize your drinking habits?
• Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drinking?
• Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
One yes to the following questions suggests a possible addiction to alcohol. More than one yes means a drinking problem is highly likely. If you or someone you know has an alcohol problem, it is important to see a health care provider right away.
Is it possible to just cut down drinking?
Sometimes. If that person has been diagnosed as an “alcoholic”, the answer is “no”. It is very rare that people addicted to alcohol are able to successfully cut down. Abstaining from alcohol is usually the best course for recovery. People who are not alcohol dependent but who have experienced alcohol-related problems may be able to limit alcohol intake. But if unable to stay within those limits, it is important to stop drinking altogether.


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