It's so important for you to understand what alcoholism is, and what it means to abuse alcohol. Once you understand, you'll be able to get a clearer picture of your own alcohol use.
This information will help you find out if you are an alcoholic in need of treatment.
Alcoholism is a serious problem in the U.S., and it has been for quite some time. Once you see the alcohol statistics in our country, it's easy to see that something needs to change.
In addition, about 88,000 people die from an alcohol-related incident each year. This makes alcohol the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
The misuse or abuse of alcohol is costly to our economy as well. In 2010, alcohol abuse cost close to $250 billion. Clearly, something needs to change. Today, alcoholism and alcohol abuse are more prevalent than ever before.
Making a change to these dangerous patterns begins with knowledge. The more you know about alcoholism and alcohol abuse, the better. With proper knowledge, you may be able to avoid becoming a part of these statistics.
It's important to know the alcoholism definition in order to understand what it is. Alcoholism is a disease that is characterized by the continual use of alcohol. Alcoholism is also habitual, and chronic.
When someone suffers from alcoholism, the consumption of alcohol interferes with their daily life. It causes problems with work, school and socialization. For many people, alcoholism also interferes with physical and mental health.
While people always make a choice to begin drinking, alcoholism itself is a disease. Once it sets in, it requires alcohol addiction treatment for recovery to take place.
It's also important to understand the alcoholic definition. You may have been wondering, what is an alcoholic? It's possible that you've been curious about your own alcohol use for quite some time. You've wondered if it classified you as an alcoholic.
A person is an alcoholic if he or she suffers from an alcohol addiction, or alcoholism. However, drinking a large amount of alcohol does not mean you are an alcoholic. It is a warning sign of becoming an alcoholic in the future.
Some experts believe that once you are an alcoholic, you will always be an alcoholic. This is a topic that has been debated for quite some time. The fact is that once you are an alcoholic, you are always at risk of returning to alcoholism. This has been proven time and time again.
Alcohol abuse is very different from alcoholism or alcohol addiction.
Sometimes alcohol abuse and alcoholism are used interchangeably. However, they do mean different things.
It's possible to participate in alcohol abuse without being, or becoming, and alcoholic. When you abuse alcohol, you are misusing it, and not drinking responsibly. Unfortunately, people do this all the time. They believe that there's no harm in drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. This is because the perception of alcohol is that it is much safer than many other substances on the market.
You may be abusing alcohol without realizing it. It's possible that you're just not sure how much alcohol is too much. If you are participating with alcohol abuse, you are most likely going to show some signs of it.
Some common signs of alcohol abuse include:
If you have experienced any of these, you may be abusing alcohol.
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If you are abusing alcohol, that does not mean that you're an alcoholic. This is important for you to know. Even so, it does put you at risk for becoming an alcoholic.
Alcoholics are not made overnight. It takes more than one evening of binge drinking or heavy drinking to result in alcoholism. However, the more you participate in these behaviors, the riskier it is.
Alcohol addiction or alcoholism will result from alcohol abuse if you do it long enough. It may seem as though you have your drinking under control. Most people feel in complete control of their drinking behaviors. What they fail to realize is that alcoholism could always be just one drink away.
It's difficult to say how long it takes for someone to go from alcohol abuse to alcoholism. For some people, it might take a few weeks. For others, it can take months, or even years. By taking the right steps early on, you don't ever have to find that out for yourself.
Alcohol dependence is very much like alcoholism. Once you are struggling with alcohol dependence, you exhibit certain types of behaviors.
People who are alcohol dependent may find that they tend to go for a certain type of alcoholic beverage. They may stick to one brand, or they may just want to drink wine every night.
They also exhibit drink-seeking behaviors. This means that they will only go to events where alcohol is being served. They may surround themselves with others who drink so that they feel more comfortable.
People who are alcohol dependent may also drink to avoid going through withdrawal. They know that they have an alcohol problem, and that without it, they'll experience certain symptoms. Going back to drinking after giving up alcohol is also a sign of alcohol dependence.
It's not always easy to know if you have an alcohol addiction or not. Most people who drink feel as though they're in control of their alcohol use. They may know that they drink too much, but they still feel as though their consumption is under control. This might be the way that you feel as well.
You can get a better grasp on whether or not you have an alcohol addiction by answering some questions. The following are questions that a professional might ask you about your alcohol use.
It can be difficult to face some of the answers to these questions. Still, they need to be asked. If you can answer "yes" to more than one of them, you most likely have an alcohol addiction. If so, it's a condition that needs professional treatment.
There are certain signs you can look for in your own life that can tell you if you're an alcoholic. If you notice even one of these signs, it's possible that you're struggling with alcoholism.
It's very easy to go from alcohol abuse to alcoholism. If you can relate to any of these, you may have already gone down that path.
If you are still not sure, there is a way to get more information about your own alcohol use. You may find it to be very helpful to take an alcoholism quiz. This quiz will ask you some difficult questions, but be honest. You'll get your results right away, and they will guide you as to what your next steps should be.
One of the issues is that most people don't know how much alcohol is too much. This means that you could be inadvertently drinking too much just from lack of knowledge.
According to Harvard Health, moderate drinking is acceptable for both men and women. For men, this means consuming one to two standard drinks per day. For women, it means consuming one standard drink per day.
A standard drink means:
Of course, this is a standard. There are those for whom even one drink per day isn't a good idea. This can include people who take blood thinners, or who have high blood pressure. It could also include people who have problems with their balance.
Anything over these accepted amounts is considered to be heavy drinking. Heavy drinking can lead to alcoholism when it is engaged in often enough. Also, binge drinking is a behavior that neither men, nor women should ever engage in. This is true even when binge drinking only occurs once a month.
Alcoholics frequently suffer from a number of different medical issues, and even mental problems. Excessive alcohol use is dangerous, and yet, alcoholics are usually unwilling to stop drinking.
If you are an alcoholic, you are at a very high risk of:
Your health is important. Every drink you consume brings you closer to any one of the issues on this list.
There are other devastating consequences of drinking alcohol excessively, as well. When you drink too much alcohol you may:
There are just so many risks associated with drinking too much alcohol. It's possible that you have even experienced one or more of these in the past. If you have, it's so important for you to stop drinking.
If you have a loved one who is an alcoholic, your heart probably breaks for that person. Alcoholism can be a hard topic to bring up with someone you love.
Your family member may become angry, and even refuse to talk with you about it.
When you bring it up, be prepared with research. Talk about the effects of alcoholism, and state the fact that you're concerned. If nothing changes, you may want to consider an intervention as your next step.
Sometimes those loved ones battling alcoholism are teenagers. Far too many parents have to deal with this problem under their own roofs. If this is your situation, it's important that you know what to do.
It might help you to follow these guidelines:
Alcoholics should never stop drinking on their own. Alcohol is a powerful drug that is often misunderstood. If you are an alcoholic, your body has gotten used to having alcohol regularly. This means that you will go through withdrawal when you stop drinking.
You may think that you know exactly what alcohol withdrawal is. However, it is much worse than what you experience when you wake up in the morning. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, and it can have devastating, and even fatal consequences.
When you stop drinking, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin very quickly. On average it takes between six and twelve hours to begin feeling the effects of withdrawal.
Some people experience even worse alcohol withdrawal than those symptoms listed above. It's possible that you could also be at risk for developing delirium tremens.
Delirium tremens is a condition that can occur when you stop drinking alcohol. Some people are more at risk for DTs than others.
The symptoms of delirium tremens can begin very abruptly, and without warning. They usually start within 96 hours. However, they have been done to begin as long as 10 days after the last drink.
The DTs is an emergency situation. If you experience them, getting medical help immediately is crucial. Delirium tremens can become fatal if not treated right away.
After going over this information, you may have found that you're an alcoholic. If you are, alcoholism treatment is essential for you to stop drinking safely.
After alcohol detox, a period of alcohol rehab is needed. This will help you to recover from the psychological part of your addiction.
Do you have additional questions about alcohol abuse or alcoholism? Contact us.
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