There is habitually a lot of perplexity over what actually defines alcoholism.
People tend to think in terms of the total number of beers or glasses of wine they consume in a night out or think it is a matter of how consistently they drink. Alcoholism is defined neither by the bulk a person drinks nor by the regularity of alcohol . Alcoholism is an alcohol dependency. If the person is dependent on alcohol, they are by definition alcoholic, despite how much or how often they drink.
‘Alcoholism’ is a disease, and a disease that affects countless people around the globe. Moreover, it is an awful disease that is chronic, progressive and regularly fatal and alumni program for addiction to alcohol. The disease initially attacks the physical health of the victim and then disturbs emotional and mental equilibrium by hurting the alcoholic person’s family and social life.
It is a disease that is most prominent amongst men, and sadly, most especially amongst young men. Consistent with the distinction we made above, medical practitioners distinguish between two types of alcohol-related problems – namely, ‘alcohol abuse’ and full-blown ‘alcoholism’.
‘Alcohol abuse’ refers to specific times where individuals over-indulge in alcohol consumption and so damage their health, but do not necessarily become addicted to the substance such that these incidents become regular and unavoidable.
‘Alcoholism’ refers to that state of being where the consumer of alcohol has become dependent. They have ceased all control over their intake, such that they continue to consume compulsively, despite the noticeable inflictions the drug is doing to their physical and mental well-being.
There is a straightforward medical explanation alumni program for addiction to alcohol
Regular heavy-intake of alcohol causes chemical imbalances in the brain or leads to depletion of certain chemicals, which makes the body desire alcohol. Having said that, many factors generally combine to advance someone into alcoholism – both social factors as well genetic and psychological ones.
In terms of genetics, it has clearly been shown that persons with a history of alcoholism in their families are far more likely to become alcoholics themselves than those without such a family history. As well, general high stress levels or a particular great emotional trauma can start a person to drink excessively, as the alcohol has a direct effect on the stress hormones.
In terms of wider psychological rationalization, a low self-esteem and depression regularly contribute to increased alcohol consumption, which can eventuate in alcoholism. In terms of friends and peer group, if a person mixes usually with alcoholic persons, this will clearly make them more exposed to the disease.
Ironically, this can be a problem at both ends of the social spectrum. It is generally the culture of high-powered business people to drink numerous cocktails and highly-alcoholic drinks at social gatherings, and certainly persistent alcohol consumption can become the norm for young working class males who make it each day to the pub after work.
There is no quick and easy cure for alcoholism. Different from other diseases, neither drugs nor surgery can do anything to remove the problem. One curious discovery though that researches have made about alcohol addiction is that the person indulging in the habit feels better, not while indulging, but at that instant the decision is made to indulge! This suggests that the most effective way to deal with alcoholism may require zooming in on that moment when thought of indulging enters the brain. If an alcoholic can discipline himself such that he can divert his attention when the first thought arises, this may be the simplest path to a cure!
Of course, given the numerous contributing factors and differing levels of self-discipline, every case of alcoholism is going to be unique, which is why treatment is generally best managed by specialized health-care professionals.