What Is Alcoholism?





Millions of Americans struggle with alcoholism, but just a fraction seek treatment. Resilience Health Systems drug and alcohol recovery program, provides treatments that can help individuals transition into a sober and more fulfilling life.

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcohol addiction is described as an individual’s uncontrollable craving to become intoxicated by consuming liquids crafted from fermented grain and fruit such as wine, beer, or hard liquors.

When someone is unable to limit their alcohol consumption or control their urge to drink, they are exhibiting the signs of alcoholism. This type of addiction can cause an individual to go through bouts of binge drinking. If a person is experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, they may consume more alcohol to reach the same level of intoxication that they achieved after their last drink. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, shaking, excessive sweating and feelings of anxiety that stem from the individual’s attempt to stave off the cravings. For many people, resisting the urge to drink is not possible. In those cases, the individual must seek treatment as soon as possible.

Many believe ridding themselves of their need for alcohol is as easy as counting to 10, but the road to recovery is much more complicated. Alcoholics experience intense urges to drink, which reduces their ability to stop.

Most alcoholics require help to cease such an unhealthy and potentially life-threatening habit. The majority of alcoholics are able to achieve sobriety through a combination of the right treatment plan and support from loved ones.

What Are the Causes and Effects of Alcoholism?

According to scientists, people with a history of alcoholism in their families are at an increased risk to develop an alcohol problem. The drinking can either begin or become more severe depending on the individual’s environment or whether they suffered a traumatic event. Contributing factors may include lifestyle values, culture, family, friends, and pressure from peers.

Alcoholism is not only unhealthy, it is destructive to a person’s physical and mental state and can lead to legal problems. Approximately half of all crimes are alcohol-related, with the more serious incidents involving unintentional deaths, homicides, and suicides. Alcoholism has been linked to cases of brain damage, liver diseases, cancer, and heart disease. The life expectancy of an alcoholic can be decreased by as much as 15 years should they opt not to seek help.

  • Excessive alcohol consumption eradicates brain cells, potentially causing brain damage.
  • Alcohol can have a devastating impact on the function of the central nervous system, reducing one’s ability to retrieve, combine, or sort out information.
  • Moderate drinking can impact cognitive faculties while larger amounts can impede the flow of oxygen to the brain, which causes a blackout during severe intoxication.
  • Alcohol addiction can cause inflammation in the stomach, esophagus, and mouth, increasing the risk of developing cancer in these areas. The risk is greater for those who smoke.
  • Irregular heartbeats may present in people who engage in splurge drinking, while abusers are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, heart damage and heart attacks.
  • Alcohol use may damage vision, diminish sexual function, reduce circulation, and lead to water retention and malnutrition.
  • Other alcohol-related problems include skin and pancreatic disorders, weakened muscles and bones, and decreased immunity.

When someone drinks alcohol, much of it is processed in the liver. The liver has a limited capacity for breaking down alcohol, and it can become overtaxed. This situation may lead to liver disorders, and eventually, the organ may not function properly.

Liver damage presents in three stages. During the first stage, the liver becomes enlarged as a result of abdominal fatty tissues penetrating the cells within the organ. The second stage comes in the form of hepatitis in the liver, which causes inflammation, swelling, and the eventual death of cells. The last stage is cirrhosis of the liver, a condition in which scar tissues develop and interfere with blood circulation within the liver.

Don’t Wait. Call Today.

The reasons to choose sobriety over a life of alcohol dependency are many. The addiction cycle is very destructive to the individual who is struggling with alcoholism, and the hardships often extend to the people who are closest to the individual.

Those who do not seek treatment for their alcoholism risk losing everything. 


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