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Is alcoholism a disease?
Does treatment work?
Do I have a problem?
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
Tolerance- The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol
to get “high”.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.