If you believe you or someone you love has an alcoholic addiction, Al-Anon or AlaTeen or Alcoholics Anonymous are organizations that offer immediate help and support. For help with detoxification and longer-term addiction treatment services, such as rehab centers, many facilities nationwide offer the most modern treatment methods and procedures in a variety of settings and employ effective philosophies.
If you feel you or your loved one must be placed in a rehabilitation treatment center for alcohol abuse, please call 1-877-929-6887 or fill out a patient placement form and The Way Out Recovery will aid in placement.
What is Alcoholism?
Loosely speaking, alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol, regardless of obvious debilitating effects. Because of the broad applications of the term, both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have worked to refine its definition, in attempts to aid in addiction treatment and diagnosis.
The DSM identifies alcoholism as “alcohol dependence” and “alcohol abuse” while the WHO prefers “alcohol dependence syndrome.” There is debate regarding its classification as a disease. However, semantics and categorization aside, alcohol abuse and addiction is a serious problem all over the world, and one that negatively affects millions — from businesses and the economy to families and their relationships.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
As a caveat, not everyone who abuses alcohol becomes an alcoholic, but there is a direct correlation. For the purposes of this article, an assumption will be made that the alcohol abuser is also addicted or on the verge of addiction. Among the more common signals:
- Shame or guilt about drinking
- Lying to hide drinking habits
- Needing a drink to relax, feel good, or function
- “Blacking out” and/or memory loss
- Drinking to excess on a regular basis
- Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, and home
- Drinking alcohol in situations that endanger the drinker and others
- Disdain for personal relationships in favor of drinking
If there’s concern over someone’s drinking pattern, a confrontation should occur. A person confronted about drinking may react negatively and deny a problem exists. Denial may be expressed as:
- Underestimating how much is consumed
- Comparing drinking habits with others (I drink less than so-and-so)
- Refusing to acknowledge the negative consequences
- Claiming over-exaggeration about the issue
- Shifting blame for drinking to outside influences
Effects of Alcohol Abuse
The list of negative effects of alcohol abuse goes on ad infinitum. In a nutshell, alcohol abuse kills – directly and indirectly, alcohol destroys the body and the mind, ruins families and lives, severely damages unborn children and loses billions of dollars in lost work and health and legal costs.
Understanding Alcoholism’s Obstacles
Because of alcohol’s undeniable relationship with human civilization, it’s quite difficult to motivate people to seek addiction treatment services or broach the subject with someone who may have a problem. Entrenched cultural attitudes often interfere with a genuine understanding of the problem, or even admitting a problem exists.
Alcohol abuse continues to be a problem, and now is happening at younger ages. Statistics reveal that nearly 25% of teenagers have at least five or more drinks at least once in a given two-week period before they finish high school.