Alcoholism is one of the longest standing problems that mankind has suffered
with. In 2002 a study was conducted by the University of Amsterdam and the
They found that as little as one drink has the ability to impair an individual’s
capacity to function normally. An addiction to alcohol can be a physical
and/or emotional dependence but should not be considered a disease.
Similar to other addictions, an individual turns to alcohol to help “solve” a
problem they are having. Over time they begin to depend on alcohol and find
themselves relying on it more and more. As time goes by they continue to
use alcohol as a problem solver until they are completely dependent on it.
In the end, alcoholism becomes an even greater problem than the original issue
they were struggling with.
There are four parts of alcoholism. The first is cravings. This is a need
or strong urge to drink. The second is a loss of control. It is at this point
that the individual is unable to stop their drinking once they have begun.
The third is physical dependence. At this point the individual suffers withdrawal
symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakes, and anxiety after they have stopped
drinking. The fourth is tolerance. This last part of alcoholism means that
the individual feels the need to consume more alcohol to achieve the “high” or “buzz” that
they are looking for.
It is a common misconception that if you could only get an alcoholic to stop
drinking that their problem would be solved. This is not the case. Alcoholic's
lack self-control or self-discipline that allows most people to stop drinking.
They do not know any other way to “handle” the
original problem that caused them to drink in the first place.
Of course getting the person to stop drinking is the initial step in helping
them recover from alcoholism. The second step is helping them handle the initial
problem that caused them to drink in the first place. Helping the individual
handle this initial problem is an essential part of any successful rehabilitation
Only by providing the individual with the tools needed to handle life without
the use of alcohol will they be able to live alcohol free. Once they have these
tools they can conquer any problem that comes their way with confidence. They
are now able to live an alcohol free life and be a happy, healthy, and
productive member of society once again.