To compare alcoholism to a disease, we have to understand the medical definition of disease. A disease is defined as something that lasts three months or more and has other common features, including no cure from a vaccine or can’t take medication that can’t prevent it, and they don’t just go away. There is more information on why alcoholism is considered a disease, read further to find out not only why but what can be done to help someone suffering from alcoholism.
According to the CDC, six out of ten Americans have at least one disease. In addition, some behaviors contribute to diseases, including using tobacco, not being physically active, and having poor eating habits. Some of the most common chronic diseases include arthritis, cardiovascular disease, breast and colon cancer, obesity, and oral issues.
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcohol addiction is usually referred to as “alcoholism,” People who struggle with this condition are commonly called “alcoholics.” Those who suffer from alcohol use disorder do not simply drink too much or drink routinely; they have a compulsion to consume alcohol, and they cannot control how much they drink. Their brain chemistry changes and alcohol is needed to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and reduce stress-related negative psychological experiences. According to the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH):
About 17 million adults, ages 18 and older, in the United States with alcohol use disorder. One in 10 children who live in a home with a parent has alcohol use disorder.
Alcoholism can affect so many aspects of your life, just like any other substance that is abused. Alcoholism can put your employment, personal relationships, financial situations, and more at risk. It turns your whole world upside down, and the worst of it; someone can get hurt or even killed. If you are lucky enough not to put someone in danger if you get behind the wheel, you put yourself in danger every time you consume more than one or two drinks a day, and for alcoholics, that means we put ourselves in danger every time we pick up a drink.
When Alcoholism Becomes A Disease
It can be difficult to determine when alcohol use becomes alcoholism, but in the simplest terms, it’s often when a person loses control over alcohol use. You may start drinking casually and then more heavily. This could constitute an abuse problem, but not necessarily the disease of alcoholism. Alcoholism typically becomes a disease when:
- Drinking alone and in secrecy.
- Losing interest in other activities you once found enjoyable.
- Alcohol cravings.
- Making drinking a priority over responsibilities.
- Alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
- Extreme mood swings and irritability.
- Feelings of guilt associated with drinking.
- Having a drink first thing in the morning.
- Continuing to drink despite health, financial, and family problems.
- An inability to stop or control the amount of alcohol consumed.
So Why Is Alcoholism Considered A Disease?
Alcoholism is considered a disease because you may be predisposed to it from your family. It may be in your genetics. It also may be a combination of genes and personal life choices, like diabetes is affected by diet and exercise. And just like the disease diabetes, it can be treated by a combination of things such as medications and cognitive-behavioral treatments in either an inpatient or an outpatient setting.
Alcoholism has no cure, and you can relapse. Still, it is possible to keep it under control by attending rehabilitation programs and attending support groups like AA, and making changes to your daily life choices; at ARIA, that is exactly where you can get going with these changes.
Start Recovery From Alcohol Abuse at ARIA FL
We understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help from an alcohol detox in FL, and we strive to make it as easy a process as possible. However, if you are a struggling professional who has spent so much time being a high-achiever for your career and family, isn’t it about time you took some time to take care of yourself?
No matter where you’re at in life, we are here to help you become your best self, the you that you were before alcohol took hold. So contact us now at 844-973-2641 to learn more about the alcohol detox center at the Addiction Recovery Institute of America. The future of those you care about depends upon it.