Understanding Alcoholism

August 15, 2010

Consuming alcohol can be enjoyable for many individuals when they are within a social setting. For many, this is a great way to relax at the end of the day and to engage in small talk with close friends. However, some individuals are not able to leave things at this stage. There are times when drinking alcohol becomes much more than drinking at a social gathering. This is when alcoholism may begin to develop and problems may begin to occur.

For individuals that may be taking their drinking habits to the next level, it is good to know what exactly alcoholism is. It is when an individual begins to develop a dependency on the alcohol that they were once consuming as a way to be social. When the individual decides that he, or she, would like to stop consuming the alcohol they may suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The person will also need to begin consuming more and more alcohol as a way to get the same effects that they once got from a small amount of alcohol. This is called tolerance.

Next, as a person begins to move towards alcoholism they will begin to have a very strong craving for the alcohol. It may become very difficult for the person to make it through the day, or through a few hours, without drinking. He, or she, may also begin to have a decrease in self control. Meaning that they are no longer able to set a limit on the amount of alcohol that they consume at one time.

Alcoholism is a debilitating disorder. Here are some of the current facts related to alcoholism and alcohol abuse within the United States?

• It is believed that approximately 14 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and can actively report that they are dependent on this drug.
• More than 50% of individuals living in America can report that they actually know someone, or have a family member, that abuses alcohol on a regular basis.
• It has been estimated that the United States will spend approximately $200 billion each and every year with costs related to alcoholism and the complications that it can, and will create.
• Each year, college students in America suffer from different health issues that are related to alcohol. It has been estimated that the amount of these students is actually as high as 150,000.

It is very important to understand some of the different complications and problems that this condition can create. The following chart will examine some of the areas that may be effected in a person’s life so that the full consequences can be fully understood.

Work Social Family Health
Arriving late Dishonesty Dishonesty Immune system problems
Not showing up Putting them in danger Missing important functions Cirrhosis of the liver
Making excuses Drinking and driving Becoming violent Brain damage
Not completing work Missing important celebrations Drinking and driving Different types of cancers
Calling off Not following through Not following through
Loss of job Borrowing money Loss of job-inability to care for loved ones