All About Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol Addiction

For most people, moderate drinking is probably safe. It may even have some health benefits, including reducing your risk of certain heart problems. Moderate drinking is considered one drink a day for woman (or anyone over 65) and two drinks a day for men under 65.

Approximately 70% of the adults in America drink alcohol, at least occasionally. Alcohol use is very common in our society.

Moderate Alcohol Drinking

Some people should not drink at all, including alcoholics, children, pregnant women, people on certain medicines and people with some medical conditions. If you have questions about whether it is safe for you to drink, speak with your health care provider. Anything more than moderate drinking is very risky. Binge drinking - drinking five or more drinks at one time - can damage your health and increase your risk for accidents, injuries and assault. Years of heavy drinking can lead to liver disease, heart disease, cancer and pancreatitis. It can also cause problems at home, at work and with friends. Drinking alcohol has immediate effects that can increase the risk of many harmful health conditions.

The Dangers of Excessive Alcohol Drinking

Excessive alcohol use, either in the form of heavy drinking (drinking more than two drinks per day on average for men or more than one drink per day on average for women), or binge drinking (drinking more than 4 drinks during a single occasion for men or more than 3 drinks during a single occasion for women), can lead to increased risk of health problems such as liver disease or unintentional injuries.

According to national surveys, over half of the adult US population drank alcohol in the past 30 days. Approximately, 5% of the total population drank heavily while 15% of the population binge drank. Our national surveys previously defined binge drinking as more than 4 drinks for both men and women.

In 2001, there were approximately 75,000 deaths attributable to excessive use of alcohol. In fact, excessive alcohol use is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for people in the United States each year.

When Consuming Alcohol Becomes an Addiction

Not be confused with the combination of alcohol and drug addiction, alcohol addiction is another term for dependence on alcohol. Alcohol addiction stems from the body's gradually inability to tolerate alcohol. Alcohol addiction is usually a gradual process, whereby the human body loses its ability to deal with a minimum amount of alcohol. The "addiction to alcohol" comes when a person feels they need to drink alcohol on a very regular basis. A person with alcohol addiction usually gets drunk a lot.

The definition of addiction is a craving or burning desire for the substance or chemical in question. Someone is addicted to alcohol when they make heavy alcohol consumption a regular part of their life and it is having a negative effect one or more areas and quality of their lifestyle.

Alcohol Addiction is a pattern of drinking that result in harm to one's health, interpersonal relationships or ability to work. Manifestations of alcohol abuse include:

  • Failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Drinking in dangerous situations, such as drinking while driving or operating machinery
  • Legal problems related to alcohol, such as being arrested
  • Continued drinking despite ongoing relationship problems
  • Long-term alcohol abuse can turn into alcohol dependence

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

Dependency on alcohol, also known as alcohol addiction and alcoholism, is a chronic disease. The signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence include:

  • A strong craving for alcohol
  • Continued use despite repeated physical, psychological, or interpersonal problems
  • The inability to limit drinking
  • Physical illness when one stops drinking
  • The need to drink increasing amounts to feel its effects

The Difference between Alcoholism and Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism is the actual "allergy" or disease stemming from the body's inability to process alcohol without it triggering the phenomenon of craving. Alcoholics inevitably get drunk, once they start drinking. There is a fine but important distinction between the two conditions.

What to do About an Alcohol Addiction

Although alcoholism and alcohol addiction or dependency is technically two different conditions, the actions necessary to arrest them are the same, abstinence. The place to start is proper medical detox and then some form of rehab, followed by an ongoing support group such as AA, SMART recovery or Rational Recovery.

alcohol addiction

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