Addiction to alcohol is probably one of the most severe addictions that we as a society
face today. Recent studies show that about twelve percent of American adults have
had an alcohol dependence issue at some time in their life. At current, there is
no known finite etiology of an addiction to alcohol, but heredity and environment
may be factors. Widely considered as a disease by experts, addiction to alcohol
only worsens when left untreated.
An addiction to alcohol is hard for many people to beat. Most people who have made
the life-changing decision to commit to recovery soon realize that it is a daily
battle to remain alcohol free. This is why many people decide to seek expert advice
for their alcoholism, either on their own or through an intervention.
Although, addiction to alcohol is a manageable concern, it has nothing to do with
willpower or individual character, but should be recognized as a medical disease
that mandates medical treatment.
Also, addiction to alcohol (or other substances) is a chronic, neurological disease
intensely influenced by genetic susceptibility. Inherited or assimilated abnormalities
in brain chemistry produce an altered response which, in turn, causes a wide variety
of behavioral, psychological, and physical problems. Although environmental and social
factors can influence the expression and progression of the disease, they are not,
in any sense, foundations of the addiction.
This basically means that an addiction to alcohol or other drugs is a progressive
process. It is long-term, chronic, and continuous. Alcohol or drug misuse means that
an individual has no control over whether he or she consumes alcohol or uses drugs.
Hence, alcohol or drug dependence means that the addict has lost all control over
their drinking or using habits.
Knowing this, addiction to alcohol will also cause extreme damage to many of the
internal organs of the body. This will in turn bring about a series of physical chain
reactions that can culminate in hospitalization and even death.
Additionally, an addiction to alcohol will bring about lethal, physical ailments
over a period of time. Everyone should know that alcohol is a depressant and has
an intense effect on the central nervous system. Alcohol can lower inhibitions, but
it also impairs muscular coordination, judgment, and speech. Specific areas of the
brain “become depressed by alcohol addiction, resulting in memory loss and fatigue”.
Other physical effects from alcohol addiction occur in the digestive tract, the liver,
and other areas of the body
Typical of any substance abuse, an addiction to alcohol is basically a person with
an alcohol addiction and is often referred to as an addict or "alcoholic'. An alcoholic
will allow their dependence to affect every aspect of their life and this is typical
of other addictions, including their social functioning and health. A display of
anti-social behavior is common with many alcoholics when under the influence of alcohol
and they may even turn to criminal behavior to support their addiction.
A person may need to seek treatment at an inpatient treatment facility if their addiction
to alcohol is severe. These treatment facilities will typically provide 24-hour care
as clients withdraw from alcohol and recover from alcohol addiction. Once individuals
are well enough to leave, they will need to remain in an outpatient program to receive
ongoing treatment for a specified length of time. Addiction to alcohol and/or drugs
often covers up an underlying depression. The connection between addiction and depression
in an addiction to alcohol can cause a severe mental and social deterioration, leading
to lethal health problems - even suicide.