Alcoholics Vs Alcoholism
Alcoholics are commonly referred to as “alcohol addicts.” Drinking at a harmful level to your health is the most severe form of problem drinking. Alcoholism is a strong, often overwhelming urge to consume alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is another name for it. It’s considered a form of ‘alcohol use disorder’ that can be treated medically.
It’s not the same as ‘harmful drinking,’ a pattern of excessive drinking that harms your health but doesn’t lead to dependence.
Alcoholism is characterized by a person who prioritizes drinking over all other responsibilities, including work and family.
It develops a physical tolerance, which means they consume more and more to achieve the same impact. Society has a poor view of those who are alcohol dependent.
When it comes to stereotypes, some people don’t fit the mold. Even if you’ve never been homeless, used stolen money to buy alcohol, or been arrested for a DUI, you may have never experienced these things.
You can’t be addicted to booze if you have a family and a job, right? It’s not necessarily true that alcoholism and alcohol use disorder are similar.
Alcoholism’s cause has yet to be discovered. Alcoholism has been defined as a disorder when a person drinks excessively or frequently enough to alter their brain’s chemical composition.
There is no single cause of alcoholism, so it is categorized as an addiction. People develop a craving for alcohol over time.
Their susceptibility to alcoholism can be influenced by various factors, including their genes, environment, mental health, and level of stress.
“Alcohol abuse” and “alcoholism” are often used interchangeably. The term “alcoholism” refers to alcohol addiction or dependency, in which the individual has a physical or psychological need to drink.
Alcohol addiction is defined as excessive drinking, notwithstanding the negative consequences. Every element of your life can be impacted by alcohol abuse in unexpected ways.
Defining Heavy Drinking
Heavy drinking and binge drinking are the two primary forms of excessive alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming two drinks a day, or more than 14 drinks in a week, for men under 65.
Heavy drinking is more than one drink a day for women and males over 65, or more than seven drinks a week.
For men, five or more drinks in two hours are considered excessive. In the same amount of time, women consume four or more drinks. Having too much to drink at once is known as binge drinking.
There are numerous indicators that a person may be abusing alcohol. Many indications can easily be recognized, but others may be more obscure.
A person’s warning signs may also be affected by the level of their alcohol usage. Some people, for example, drink in secret and isolate themselves from others to hide their alcoholism. This can be difficult for loved ones to intervene and support their loved ones.
It’s easy to overlook mild alcohol misuse. Even a seemingly innocuous problem might quickly escalate into a life-threatening one.
Not heeding these early warning signs could prove to be a costly mistake. The sooner you get therapy, the sooner you can get back to doing the things you enjoy most in life.
Alcohol consumption can swiftly spiral out of control if left unchecked. Alcohol addiction is classified as an alcohol use disorder when its effects begin to impair a person’s life negatively.
Finding help for alcoholism early on and receiving it can make a big difference in someone’s life.
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Spotting The Signs Of Alcoholism
The signs of alcoholism often co-occur, but no formula exists to identify whether a person possesses them.
One symptom may lead to another, creating a cascade of issues that must be dealt with in the future. Addiction can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Dabbling with temporary memory loss or blackouts.
- Extreme mood swings or symptoms of agitation
- Relaxation, dealing with stress, or a sense of normalcy are all valid reasons to drink.
- Overriding other responsibilities and obligations in favor of drinking
- Distancing yourself from loved ones and friends
- Being a lone wolf or drinking in secret
- Hungover even when you’ve not had a drink.
- Changing your appearance and the people you spend time with.
Alcohol misuse symptoms should not be overlooked, no matter how little they appear. We’re here if you or a loved one need assistance with alcoholism.
Help Is Available
A treatment provider can assist you in locating nearby alcohol treatment programs. Numerous problems, both personal and professional, might arise due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Drinking over an extended period can put you at risk for significant health concerns and even death.
Alcoholism therapy falls through the cracks for various reasons, the most common of which is denial.
It’s not uncommon for people to try to justify their drinking habits. You may, for example, place the blame for your drinking on others or specific events.
When someone mentions your excessive drinking, you become defensive rather than acknowledging the troubles you’ve had with alcohol.
If you don’t accept that alcohol has dire repercussions, you’ll never be able to lead a healthy, clean life.
Drinking As A Habit
Adolescent drinking habits differ substantially from adults’ because teenagers’ brains are still maturing.
The number of teenagers consuming alcohol has steadily increased over the past few decades. There is a lack of awareness among adolescents about the long-term consequences of alcohol abuse.
Various factors contribute to the increased use of alcohol by young people, including peer pressure, curiosity, and the desire to have a good time.
Teenage alcohol abuse may be influenced by behavioral, physical, and environmental factors.
For various reasons, adolescents begin drinking.
It is usual for teenagers to feel pressured differently from adults. Some teens choose to drink alcohol instead of engaging in extracurricular activities.
Drinking can make kids feel good, so they keep doing it. It gives individuals a chance to decompress from stressful situations at school or home.
Because of the abundance of alcohol commercials in the media, many teenagers believe that drinking is socially acceptable.
Some teenagers believe that if they drink, they’ll make more pals. It’s not uncommon for experimentation with alcohol to get out of control after just one drink.
During adolescence, some adolescents lack self-confidence and desire to fit in. To fit in, they’ll do anything, even if it means abusing booze.
Drinking is viewed to alleviate social anxiety and project a sense of self-assurance to their peers.
When it comes to alcoholism, some people may believe that the only way to overcome it is to use their willpower.
Alcoholism, on the other hand, is a brain illness. When you drink, your brain undergoes a series of changes that make it difficult to stop.
On your own, it can be like treating appendicitis with a smile and optimism. Learn as much as you can about alcohol use disorder and your treatment options as a starting point for rediscovering your journey towards freedom.
The first thing you should do is check whether you’re drinking too much. Alcohol addiction is more commonly referred to as alcoholism than alcohol use disorder.
People who abuse alcohol but aren’t dependent on it are included in the same category as those who become addicted to it.
Diagnosis assistance is available from your physician or other qualified healthcare professional. Discuss your goals with your doctor when you next see them.
Are you attempting to cut back on your drinking, or do you want to stop altogether? You and your doctor can begin to develop a treatment plan together. Your doctor can recommend treatment centers and professionals in the field.
Your current situation and long-term objectives will determine the best one for you. The mix of treatments that work best for most people can be found in a program.
You may be required to stay at a treatment facility for some time in some of these programs. On the other hand, outpatient programs allow you to continue living at home while receiving therapy at the center.
Whether during or after your alcohol rehab, seeing a therapist can help you develop new coping mechanisms and long-term coping methods.
One-on-one counseling may be preferable for some people who suffer from anxiety or depression. Some folks only need a few minutes of one-on-one counseling.
Due to the significant impact alcohol abuse can have on those closest to you, couples and family counseling may be an effective strategy for rediscovering the joy outside alcohol.
Alcohol use disorder is not curable, although there are medications that can assist in the recovery process.
Disulfiram, Acamprosate, or Naltrexone can all be used to make drinking less pleasurable so that you don’t want to do it as much, or they can be used to inhibit the high you receive from drinking.
Alcohol use disorder may benefit from medications intended to treat other illnesses, such as smoking, pain, or epilepsy. Consult your physician to determine if one of these treatments is appropriate for you.
Choosing to abstain from drinking can be a long and arduous process. It’s crucial to cultivate healthy habits and solutions for coping with the daily grind.
As you set out on your path to sobriety, be sure to surround yourself with loved ones and friends rooting for you. Make it clear that you’re no longer a booze addict.
Don’t neglect your physical well-being. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, remain active, and manage your stress levels. Stop drinking and start doing things you enjoy that don’t include alcohol.
As you go through all of this, remember that rediscovering life again might take a long time, and you may need to continue treatment.
People who are in their journey towards freedom that have been sober for a while may be confused and may fall back to alcohol again. If you fail, don’t feel bad about it. In most cases, it’s a step in the process.’
Adults and children alike can be affected by alcoholism, but not everyone experiences it differently.
For some people, a single drink is enough to put them into intoxication, whereas for others, many more are required. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a “drink” is 12 oz. of beer, five oz. of wine, or 1.5 oz. of distilled spirits (NIAAA).
Excessive alcohol use can increase the risk of a wide range of health problems for anyone who consumes it.
Despite the dangers of excessive alcohol intake, most of the time, the damage is undone. Many of the physical, emotional, and mental impacts can be reversed if the problem is identified early and therapy is sought.
A certain amount of damage must be done before it’s too late. For example, cirrhosis and liver failure are irreversible consequences of heavy drinking.
SUD treatment can still improve a person’s quality of life even if they suffer from long-term health issues.
It can be a shock to discover that you have a problem with alcohol and aren’t just a casual drinker. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
The Alcohol Coach can help. We offer science-based and inspiring coaching programs. You may also sign up for the free masterclass and access free resources that will aid you in your quest toward alcohol-free life!
Please note: Although we refer to ‘alcoholism’ and ‘recovery’ in our articles, this is because these terms are often used by others.
The Alcohol Coach services come from the viewpoint of empowerment, mindset shift, and high-powered transformational change.
Then there are no lifelong labels, no counting days, and pure unbounded freedom and discovery!
Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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