The Research About Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
The research literature about alcohol abuse and alcoholism shows that alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol dependence and alcoholism, is a progressive degenerative disease that includes the following four symptoms: craving, the loss of control, physical dependence, and tolerance.
There are numerous factors and issues concerning alcohol addiction that need to be examined in order to better understand this damaging disease.
Indeed, there are psychological, social, physical, health, and behavioral components of this disease that paradoxically can be viewed as leading to and also resulting from alcohol addiction.
Unfortunately, chronic, abusive, and excessive drinking can lead not only to alcohol abuse, but also to alcohol dependence and to the horrendous and damaging alcohol addiction effects that most alcoholics have encountered.
The key question, however, is this: if you are addicted to alcohol, isn’t it time for you to make a positive, more healthy change in your life? Isn’t it time to stop drinking, get professional treatment, get sober, and start on the road to alcohol recovery?
An Important Issue: Teenage Alcohol Addiction
Regrettably, when most individuals think about alcohol addiction, they typically focus on adult alcoholics and drug addicts rather than alcohol dependency and youth.
Focusing on teenage alcohol addiction, however, is especially important because this is the age at which much, if not most, alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction starts.
The good news, nevertheless, is this: if a teenager or the parent of a teenager can read about, comprehend, internalize, and learn some of the significant issues, facts, and problems regarding teenage alcohol addiction, they might possibly be able to avoid the negative alcohol addiction effects that are correlated with teenage alcohol addiction as they involve themselves in various activities in school, college, or the workplace.
In fact, such “alcohol awareness” goes a long way in preventing major issues before they become problematic.
Stated differently, learning about the negative alcohol addiction effects that are associated with alcoholism may help a young person reconsider his or her life before the negative pattern of “problem drinking” ever becomes a possibility.
Alcohol Abuse versus Alcohol Addiction
Many people think that alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction are the same. Even though making this connection seems to make sense, it is, however incorrect.
Alcohol abuse, unlike alcohol addiction, does not include a loss of control due to drinking, physical dependence, or an extremely strong desire for alcohol.
Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following circumstances in a twelve-month period of time:
- Drinking in situations that can result in physical injury. Examples include driving a vehicle or operating machinery.
- Experiencing recurring alcohol-related legal problems. Examples include getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, for damaging someone’s property, or for physically hurting someone while drunk.
- Failure to attend to important responsibilities at work, home, or school.
- Continued drinking in spite of ongoing relationship problems that are the result of drinking.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol dependency or alcoholism, is a debilitating disease that includes the following four symptoms:
- Loss of control: The inability to limit one’s drinking over time or on any given occasion.
- Tolerance: The need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol in order to “feel the buzz” or to “get high.”
- Craving: A strong and continuing compulsion or need to drink.
- Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms occur when an individual suddenly stops consuming alcohol after a relatively long period of excessive drinking. These alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, and, at times fatal, and include the following: anxiety, sweating, nausea, and “the shakes.”
It is the interaction of these four alcoholism symptoms that lead alcoholics to a vice-like existence where they feel trapped in the downward spiral of negative alcohol addiction effects that have been documented numerous times in the alcoholism research literature.
Is Alcohol Addictive?
Based on the above, when someone asks if alcohol is addictive, perhaps the best answer is this: although drinking alcoholic beverages does not negatively affect everyone, a significant number of people who drink alcohol can and do become addicted.
It is therefore significant to point out that if you observe your friends or family members displaying any of the above listed alcoholism symptoms or behaviors, consider them as alcoholism signs symptoms of alcoholism.
And if your friends or family members do, in fact, exhibit some of these alcoholism signs or symptoms of alcoholism, they may need professional alcoholism help. More to the point, they may need alcohol addiction counseling, alcohol addiction treatment, or may need to enter an alcoholism treatment center or facility for alcohol addiction rehab.
Frequently, individuals who are not alcoholic do not comprehend why an alcoholic can’t simply use willpower or self-control to stop drinking. In most instances, however, alcohol dependence has little to do with willpower or possessing the ability to “fight” alcoholism.
Individuals with alcohol addiction are caught in the compelling grip of an uncontrollable need for alcohol that takes priority over their ability to stop drinking. Indeed, this need to drink for the alcoholic can be as strong as his or her need for food or water.
It is no wonder then that when an alcoholic tries to stop drinking, the alcohol withdrawal symptoms may be so extreme that the individual may require alcohol withdrawal treatment at an alcohol detox facility or a hospital if he or she is to experience the start of alcohol addiction recovery.
Even though some people are able to recover from alcohol dependence without clinical or personal help, many, if not most, alcoholics need professional assistance.
Through treatment, support, and professional alcohol addiction programs many people with an alcohol dependency are able to deal with their alcoholism symptoms and alcoholism signs, overcome alcohol withdrawal, abstain from drinking, and rebuild their lives.
Alcoholism Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism
There are many symptoms of alcoholism and alcoholism signs that most alcoholics exhibit. Recognizing these alcoholism symptoms and signs can serve as “signals” indicating that the drinker requires professional rehab. Keep in mind, moreover, that there is no particular order for the alcoholism symptoms and signs listed below.
- Failure to care for physical appearance
- Poor eating habits
- Inability to reduce or stop alcohol intake
- Making excuses, finding excuses to drink
- Daily or frequent drinking needed to function
- Trembling in the morning
- Violent episodes associated with drinking
- Drinking alone
- Becoming angry when confronted about drinking
- Drinking secretly
Alcohol Addiction Effects
A question that has entered the minds of many people is the following: why can some people drink alcohol without problems or any negative consequences while but others cannot?
One answer to this question involves genetics. More specifically, researchers have discovered that having an alcoholic family member increases the risk of developing alcohol addiction and experiencing alcohol addiction effects.
In fact, there may be a genetic predisposition for certain individuals to become dependent on alcohol. In addition, scientists have found that various environmental factors can interact with one’s genetics.
Examples include the relative ease of obtaining alcohol, peer pressure or peer influence, a person’s culture, where and how a person lives, and one’s family and friends.
Clearly, all of these factors influence a person’s drinking behavior and have a lot to do with how the person responds to the different alcohol addiction effects he or she may eventually suffer if he or she becomes alcohol dependent.
Alcohol Addiction Videos
We have included some alcohol addiction videos so that you can see and hear directly from various individuals about their struggles and experiences with the many different alcohol addiction effects that negatively influence the lives of alcoholics as well as the lives of family members, friends, relatives, co-workers and neighbors who care most about the problem drinker.
If you, a family member, or one of your friends has a “drinking problem,” seeing what others have gone through, how they dealt with their symptoms of alcoholism and their alcoholism signs, and how they attained successful recovery is much more “real” and meaningful than almost any information you can read about in a book or on a website.
Furthermore, watching these alcohol addiction videos may help you empathize with and understand what others with a drinking problem are feeling and experiencing. So make it a point to take some time and look at these excellent videos and see how others have dealt with and managed the various alcohol addiction effects they have experienced!
Conclusion: About Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism and alcohol dependence, is a progressive degenerative disease that includes the following four symptoms: the loss of control, tolerance, craving, and physical dependence.
There are more than a few alcoholism signs and symptoms of alcoholism that most alcoholics openly display. Being able to identify these alcoholism signs and symptoms can serve as “signals” that the problem drinker needs professional treatment.
There are many different factors and aspects regarding alcohol addiction that need to be evaluated in order to better understand this destructive disease.
More specifically, there are physical, health, social, behavioral, and emotional characteristics of this disease that ironically can be viewed as leading to and also resulting from alcohol addiction.
When the topic of alcohol addiction effects or consequences is discussed, moreover, the number of relationship, health, financial, educational, employment, and legal problems that are directly or indirectly caused by alcohol addiction is overwhelming.
When looking at the research literature about alcohol abuse and alcoholism, it becomes apparent that teenage alcohol addiction is an especially problematic subject matter due to the fact that abusive and excessive drinking, in many situations, starts during the teenage years.
As a result, addressing and significantly reducing teenage alcohol addiction needs to become one of the nation’s top priorities.