What is an Alcoholic?
Prolonged and heavy use of alcohol can lead to what is known as alcoholism, or alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction is characterized by the compulsive urge to drink alcohol and the continuing, habitual use of alcohol even when the person is aware it is doing them harm. However, there is a difference between someone who may abuse alcohol and someone who is an alcoholic. A person who may abuse alcohol is a person who drinks to get drunk, drinks in social situations, often to excess, and usually has periods of sobriety between drinking binges.
An alcoholic on the other hand, drinks alcohol to prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, anxiety, shakiness, vomiting and insomnia. This individual doesn’t necessarily drink to get drunk, but drinks to feel “normal”. If they don’t have a drink in a short amount of time, their body will trigger these terrible withdrawal symptoms, which makes it even harder for them to stop drinking. An alcoholic may abuse alcohol on such a regular basis that they may be doing real harm to their health, families, and work-lives, but can’t find the strength to quit drinking.
It is not always easy to distinguish between someone who regularly abuses alcohol and someone who has an alcohol addiction. While someone who regularly abuses alcohol may not currently be considered an alcoholic, it is usually only a matter of time until they have a full blown addiction. This is why it is vital for those going down that road to realize that they may have a drinking problem and get the help they need now, before their drinking problem has spiraled out of control.
Alcoholism is a Disease
It is important to understand that alcohol addiction is a chronic, progressive and possibly fatal disease that needs proper medical treatment and care. This is why alcohol addiction centers and alcohol addiction programs are so effective when dealing with alcohol addiction. Because alcoholism is not widely considered as a disease in our society, and more of a character flaw or moral weakness, alcoholics rarely seek the treatment they need to get better. Instead of visiting an alcohol rehab where they can receive they alcohol addiction help they so desperately need, they go on blaming themselves for their problem.
As scientists study alcohol addiction more closely, they are noticing that there might be a strong genetic component behind alcohol addiction. This puts children and siblings at a higher risk for alcoholism if their parents were once alcoholics. Family and social influences can also contribute to alcoholism, as well as stress in the family and workplace. If you are currently struggling with an alcohol addiction, or you may have a drinking problem that is getting out of control, one of the best things you can do is to visit a Texas alcohol addiction center or alcohol addiction recovery program to regain your sobriety and ultimately regain control of your life. The first step may be the hardest step, but it might be the most important one you ever take.