Alcoholism can be difficult to understand. Those that are not alcoholics do not understand why it is so hard to quit drinking, they act as if there is an on/off switch. Alcoholism is a disease that a compulsion to drink alcohol regardless to the negative affects it has on ones health and overall life. Alcoholism does not just go away, it is a disease that stays for life, the alcoholic just needs to learn how to control this compulsion, this disease. Being an alcoholic is overwhelming and fighting this disease is one of the hardest things they will ever have to do. It is not as simple as flipping a switch, just as it is a process to become an alcoholic it is a process to recover from alcoholism.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a disease that is characterized by the strong need or compulsion to drink alcohol as well as the frequent inability to stop drinking once they have begun. The cravings and loss of control making alcoholism extremely overwhelming. An alcoholic has a physical dependence on alcohol, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly stop drinking. To relieve the symptoms of withdrawal the alcoholic will consume more alcohol, this eases the symptoms of nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety. An alcoholic is overcome by the urge to drink regardless of the negative effects it has on their health and over all life, as well as the effects it has on the lives of those around them.
What causes Alcoholism?
Many people do not understand alcoholism, they feel as if an alcoholic should be able to stop drinking, that is shouldn’t be so hard. Many alcoholics compare their need to drink alcohol to the natural need for people to drink water and eat food. Their bodies and minds are consumed by the need for more alcohol.
It is thought that both genetics and the environment plays a large roll in alcoholism. According to the NIAAA, alcoholism is inherited. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. Those with a history of alcoholism in their family are strongly advised to avoid alcohol. Just because alcoholism runs in ones family does not mean that they too will become and alcoholic, they just have a higher risk. Why play with fire, you might get burned? There are many enviormental factors that can play a roll in alcoholism, leaving many cautious of their alcohol consumption.
The effects of Alcoholism
Alcohol affects vital organs in the body as well as every body system. Chronic use of alcohol can cause damage to the brain, liver and kidneys that is unrepairable. Those with a history of drinking are giving themselves a death sentence, they are ineligible for organ transplants so if they get to the point of destroying their organs there is no return.
- cardiovascular disease
- chronic pancreatitis
- alcoholic liver disease
- Damage to the body systems
Alcohol does not only damage ones health, it destroys their lives as well as the lives of those around them. Alcoholics friends and family are being hurt by their addiction to alcohol, their relationships begin to become torn, children of alcoholic parents suffer the most. Work responsibilities are typically not a top priority for alcoholics, spending their time drinking alcohol, being intoxicated is more important. Their financial obligations may be ignored to finance their addiction. They may even face legal troubles as a result of their poor choices while intoxicated. The effects on an alcoholics life are endless.