Suffering from an addiction. This website has a lot of great resources and treatment centers.
The Truth About Alcoholism[edit | edit source]
Despite the warnings we hear from everybody, the "drink moderately" signs, we still see a lot of people who are affected by alcoholism. Alcoholism is a medical condition, an illness that continues to progress, and one that 5 million people in the United States today are affected by. A lot of people think that stopping and eliminating a person's alcoholism requires nothing more than just sheer free will. In this, they are wrong. For once a person becomes an alcoholic, he can no longer be cured. There will always be chances of him undergoing a relapse. However, this condition can be treated. Through the help of alcohol rehabilitation programs, there is always hope for alcoholics everywhere.
|Alcohol can affect the liver through a disease known as cirrhosis, a progressive, fatal illness.|
|Half the patients diagnosed with cirrhosis will die within five years unless they cease drinking.|
|Alcohol abuse costs Americans 116.7 billon dollars per year due to insurance premiums, medical care, business losses, incarceration, and prosecutions.|
|There are more than 7,000 alcohol treatment programs in the United States.|
|Alcoholism kills between 100,000 and 200,000 annually.|
|Seven million children below the age of 18 live in alcoholic homes, and nearly five million teenagers (three in ten) have drinking problems.|
The Difference Between Alcohol Use, Alcohol Abuse, and Alcohol Dependency[edit | edit source]
Alcoholism, as characterized by a dependency on alcohol, is a tough illness to get through. However, just because a person drinks alcohol does not mean that he is already an alcoholic. An alcohol user may be able to drink every day, but only moderately. That does not make him an alcoholic. An alcohol abuser, is one that consumes so much alcohol in one sitting, and is prone to binge drinking. Someone who is an alcohol dependent, meanwhile, becomes both physically and psychologically addicted to alcohol. Goodwin, an author of books tackling alcoholism, states that: "the alcoholic thinks about alcohol from morning till night, and at night, if not too drunk to dream, dreams about alcohol". Apparently, an alcoholic is one who is so fixated upon alcohol that it has become a staple in his life, and affects his decisions and way of thinking.
The Causes of Alcoholism[edit | edit source]
Three factors have been identified that are said to lead to one's alcoholism: predisposition, environmental, and psychosocial. Predisposition means having the tendency to veer towards something. Many researchers have pointed toward genetics as a reason on why some people become alcoholics. Studies have shown that teenagers and children who have parents or other family members who are alcoholics are more prone to having alcoholism than children who have sober relatives.
The influence of environmental factors are likewise very strong in the creation of an alcoholic. Having a negative environment with not enough love and nurturing may be things that can cause a person to turn to alcohol to relieve himself of emotional pain. Being surrounded by peers who are alcoholics can also push an individual to become an alcoholic.
Psychosocial factors influence how people look at themselves. For a child to have grown up in a non-supportive family wherein he is not allowed to express himself freely, where he is constantly scared and feels inadequate, is more prone to being in the clutches of alcoholism, as opposed to someone who grew up being well-loved by his parents and the people around him.
Progressions of Alcoholism[edit | edit source]
How alcoholism becomes alcoholism in an individual varies from person to person. There are some who claim that they already became dependent upon alcohol the first time that they had tried drinking it. There are others who say that their alcoholism progressed gradually, starting from just social drinking, to binge drinking, to dependency upon the substance.
The first stage is when the alcohol user drinks alcohol because of the "rush" the substance gives him. The second stage shows that the person has a more intense desire to drink alcohol. However, this is the time wherein guilt and fear have already set in. There is, however, still some ability for him to stop. This is the stage wherein the alcoholic's family and friends have begun to notice the problem. The final stage is the one wherein the alcoholic has already lost control of his drinking and has become attached to it physically and psychologically. Withdrawal symptoms become present whenever he is unable to get his usual dose of alcohol, tolerance is heightened, and the alcoholic has already become emotionally unstable, and sometimes, even violent. Alcoholics, in this stage, desperately need to have themselves admitted into addiction treatment programs.
When An Alcoholic Stops Drinking[edit | edit source]
It has been said that an alcoholic only stops drinking when he has hit rock bottom. That "rock bottom" happens to be different from one alcoholic to another. For one, it could be when he starts to lose his friends. For another, it could be when he has already lost his job and family. Yet, for others, they don't stop until they are in jail. An alcoholic cannot go through this without help. Most have to undergo therapy, counseling, and medication in order to recover. In this, the family and friends of an alcoholic plays a big role, since he needs all the support, love, and understanding that he can get.
References:[edit | edit source]
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1990/6/90.06.01.x.html URL Accessed 26 June 2007 http://www.umm.maine.edu/resources/beharchive/bexstudents/ChristaGerrish/cg320.html URL Accessed 25 June 2007 http://www.psych.umn.edu/courses/spring05/dionisiod/psy3061/alcoholism.htm URL Accessed 26 June 2007 http://soc.qc.cuny.edu/aa/aagen.html URL Accessed 25 June 2007