Drug Addiction and Alcoholism: What You Need to Know
The abuse of drugs and alcohol has always been a problem, but it is more prevalent nowadays. People may not realize that most teens and adults who engage in substance abuse will also struggle with an addiction to video games. When addiction to alcohol and alcohol intersect, it can be hazardous for individuals or family members to find themselves in the middle. View more about this content in the subsequent sections.
What Are Drug Addiction and Alcoholism?
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, drug addiction is “a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” Like most other chronic diseases (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma), addiction can be managed effectively with treatment. However, it is a disease that lasts a lifetime and requires constant monitoring and effort to maintain sobriety.
Alcoholism is also classified as a chronic illness. According to Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism is described as an illness that “involves all the body [and] manifests itself in the absorption of alcohol into the system until it creates a craving—a need which only more alcohol will satisfy.”
A person who abuses alcohol has an alcohol-use disorder. Alcohol abuse is most commonly described as the repeated misuse of alcohol despite adverse consequences. It is not necessarily a result of any underlying problem with substance use or addictive behaviors. The terms alcoholism and addiction are often used interchangeably to describe this condition, but they are not synonymous.
Alcoholism refers to a more severe form of chronic heavy drinking that can become so routine that it interferes with daily life and causes serious health problems. An individual who has an alcohol-use disorder may have some symptoms of alcoholism but no impairment in their ability to function in daily life.
Signs of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is an addiction to the ingestion of ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Like all addictions, alcoholism results in negative consequences for the user, but they continue to use it anyway. Some of the signs that someone may have a problem with alcohol include:
- Physical signs: Alcoholics may have tremors when they wake up. They may also develop a tolerance to alcohol so that they need more and more of it to feel any effects or become intoxicated. The withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even dangerous, with delirium tremens being life-threatening if not treated by a medical professional.
- Behavioral signs: Alcoholics may start drinking at unusual times, like early in the morning or while alone. They may hide their drinking or make excuses for why they consume so much. They may also neglect personal responsibilities like work and family relationships because of their drinking habits.
- Emotional signs: An alcoholic may feel guilty about how much they drink but will continue doing it anyway despite these feelings. They might spend less time on hobbies or other things that once brought them joy because of how much time is devoted to drinking instead.
- Cognitive signs: If you think someone has trouble remembering what happened while drunk, this could indicate that alcoholism is an issue for them since blackouts are familiar with heavy drinkers.
Drug addiction and alcoholism are severe conditions that require professional and medical intervention. Studies have shown that while many people who suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism first use drugs as a form of self-medication, they develop a physical dependence that necessitates these drugs to feel “normal.” Addicts will often say their drug use makes them feel better temporarily. If you are fighting addiction, it is time to seek medical intervention before it is too late!