Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:18

Alcohol Addiction

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Defining Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction, or alcholism, is defined by the American Medical Association (AMA) as "a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations." Addicts will use alcohol obsessively to the point where they have no other choice but to continue to use it to make it through the day. Alcohol addiction isn't necessarily defined by the quantity of drinks one has, but rather the loss of control from using alcohol; i.e., as it affects work, relationships.


Alcohol addiction points to an abnormal craving and mental obsession for the substance that keeps addicts coming back for more, regardless of the adverse consequences. The quest to obtain and consume alcohol becomes the primary focus of living day to day. People with an alcohol addiction often tend to hide or mask the abuse, so that they are not criticized by loved ones or co-workers. A person addicted to alcohol can suffer severe withdrawal symptoms, including severe, uncontrollable shaking, known as “the D.T.s” (delirium tremens), and can possibly lead to a fatal shut down of the addict's body functions. Fluid levels and electrolyte levels can plummet and body temperatures can rise to dangerous levels during D.T.s.

Symptoms of alcohol addiction

There are many symptoms of alcohol addiction. From behavior changes to motor skills, the nature of addiction varies from person to person. For instance, if a person gets hostile when confronted about their drinking, lacks control over drinking, or even gets violent when drinking, that person may be considered an alcoholic. Another example is a person feels like they have to be secretive about drinking, doesn't care for physical appearance or hygiene, or chooses to drink alone.

Effects of Alcohol Addition on the body

Alcohol slows motor skills and delays the ability to think clearly. Individuals experience confusion, impaired judgment, and lack of concentration. Blurred vision, delayed reaction times, and sedation are also possible impacts that alcohol has on the body. Alcohol-related driving under the influence is a serious problem in the United States, particularly when collisions caused by the alcohol-addicted driver injures or kills others.

Risk Factors of Alcohol Addition and Dependency

Alcohol Addiction is divided into two parts; physical dependency and psychological dependency. Physical dependence relates to the chronic use of alcohol that has produced tolerance and the person needs it to function day to day. Psychological dependence is constantly using a substance in a way that you can’t imagine your life without a drink. Your mind will get hooked on anything that alters your mood. Alcohol is a form of drug addiction, because alcohol is a drug..

Once a person becomes physically dependent on drinking, he or she will have reached a whole new level of drinking. They need more alcohol to get them high or drunk, they experience frequent blackouts or memory lapses, and sometimes alcohol addiction-related illnesses occur. The psychological component of drinking helps the addict achieve social acceptance and may provide temporary relief from anxiety. Also, in this component, a person may get depressed, have low self-esteem, and will usually experience conflict in everyday relationships.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is a treatable disease. Treatment for alcohol addiction is a customized regimen of therapy, supervised detoxification and rehabilitation. No two treatment programs are the same. The majority of the people with an addiction (like alcohol addiction) require constant care, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), to achieve the common goal, which is sustaining abstinence from alcohol and recovery from their alcohol addiction.

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