What is Alcoholism? Signs And Causes Of Alcoholism
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is when somebody has problems controlling their drinking, which cause various physiologic, psychological, and social issues.
Alcoholism is a wide spread issue. We all know someone who might be an alcoholic. We need to be alert and careful, because it’s not just something certain people fall into anyone can.
It should be a reminder to all of us that we need to be careful and alert for any signs of trouble.
If there are signs, then we need to get people the help they need whether that is for alcohol abuse, depression, gambling, etc.
There are a lot of stereotypes and stigma surrounding alcohol that prevent both understanding and adequate care, and the spectrum of symptoms that alcohol use disorder can include is a lot more complicated than you might think.
It’s important to understand signs of a drinking problem ( Alcoholism ) and how it’s subjective to the individual.
Not everyone has an alcohol problem or engages in Alcoholism. Alcohol dependence affects people in many different forms and at different levels.
Alcohol addiction is very dangerous and causes a lot more issues than it solves. For those wondering “how to stop drinking”
It’s not a one-size-fits-all. Hopefully, you gain something from the interviewee’s experience with how he was able to quit drinking and what sobriety is like.
Alcohol is everywhere but there is hope for those suffering and sobriety rocks even though getting sober is difficult.
Causes of Alcoholism
- People are often curious about what causes alcoholism or alcohol problems. We don’t really use the term alcoholism anymore. We use the term, alcohol use disorder but people often want to know why does one person fall into trouble with alcohol and the next person doesn’t.
- And you see this a lot when you look at young people who start out in college and often,
- And I deal with a lot of young people in my practice, young adults who start coming to me when they’re in college and you see, they often come to me and say, “Doctor, I’m not doing anything different than my friends are doing.”
- And often, they’re not because often kids in colleges will drink, over drink. There’s big parties. They go to big parties. They get drunk. It’s really kind of the expected.
- It is a social norm but then what happens is that as people get older, those social norms change and getting wasted every weekend is not in the social context anymore
- and often the kids who were just the normal binge drinkers ,if you will at college, they’re the ones who don’t change and they continue that same pattern afterwards.
- And those are the people who really, if you intervene early, they don’t have to keep going and get into deep deep trouble with alcohol.
So what are the causes of alcoholism or alcohol problems?
There can be different causes. There are some, you can really see where alcoholism runs in families.
The reason it runs in families, there can be more than one reason. One is that there is a genetic predisposition in families to alcohol problems. We know now that there is an alcohol gene that can cause problems for people.
Again, you may have the gene just like you may have the gene for other disorders, medical disorders. That doesn’t mean the switch is going to get flipped.
It may, you see that in a family, there’s five siblings and two end up having alcohol problems and three don’t and those three, doesn’t mean that they don’t drink.
For whatever reason, that genetic switch may not have been switched for them but it was for the other two.
But the other thing may just be social norms where you often see families where no one else is an alcoholic except this one person who becomes really addicted to alcohol or other substances.
Why does that happen?
Well, that could be many reasons. That often can be peer driven.
Again, there are social contexts where you see an older child who is very successful academically and a younger one who you see “falls in with the wrong crowd”
Again, they may start at a very young age drinking and it progresses and we do know alcohol problem,
when you have an alcohol problem, if it’s not attended to, it is a progressive disorder, meaning it gets worse over time unless people really pay attention to it and start intervening.
So those are some causes of alcohol problems.
Detect the Signs of Alcoholism :
Alcoholism is disease, here’s some resources to help you fight back.
Not all alcoholics fit the stereotype of the down-and-out drunk. Learn to recognize the warning signs in yourself or a loved one.
Weigh the importance of alcohol to you or a loved one.
Is there a general preoccupation with drinking, like when, where, and with whom the next round will begin?
Is it difficult to stop drinking once it starts, or to stick to a limit? Is a life without drinking impossible to imagine?
Step 2 :
Consider how much alcohol is consumed. Does drinking take place on a daily basis? Is binge drinking — more than five drinks in one sitting — a commonplace event? Do hangovers and blackouts occur frequently?
The compulsion to finish every drink – and even other people’s – is a red flag.
Step 3 :
Examine the motives for drinking. Using alcohol as a mood enhancer or coping mechanism is common among alcoholics.
Step 4 :
Think about the guilt, if any, associated with drinking. Have there been promises to cut down? Lies told about the amount consumed, or about drinking altogether?
Step 5 :
Measure tolerance for alcohol. Being able to consume a lot of liquor with few signs of intoxication is not a badge of honor; it’s a sign of addiction.
Step 6 :
Don’t be fooled by the ability to hold down a job. As many as half of the 18 million American alcoholics are considered high-functioning, meaning they can spend years maintaining the facade of a normal life while drinking to excess, until something catastrophic happens.
Step 7 :
If you see these signs in yourself or a loved one, call The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service toll free at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for help.
Did You Know ?
According to one study, 10 percent of the U.S. population’s drinkers imbibe 50 percent of all alcohol consumed.