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alcoholism Alcoholism is compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages. This usually has an impact on the drinker’s health, personal relationships and social standing.

In the medical community, alcohol addiction is referred to as a psychosomatic condition, meaning that social, psychological, and behavioral factors can all contribute to the onset and progression of the disease.

Since alcohol addiction tends to be progressive in nature, it’s important to look for early warning signs before the alcoholic suffers negative consequences as a result of the disease.

To determine if alcoholism may be present in someone, look for any or all of the following behaviors:

  • Increased amount of alcohol consumption or increased frequency of use
  • Higher tolerance when drinking or lack of “hangover” symptoms
  • Increased activity in social situations where alcohol is present or avoidance of social situations where alcohol will not be present
  • Changes in friendships. An alcoholic will almost always surround himself with others who drink just as heavily
  • Alienation from loved ones
  • Hiding alcohol, such as in the closet, bathroom or other places where no one will find it
  • Dependence on alcohol to function or be “normal” in everyday life
  • Increased lethargy, depression, or onset of emotional issues
  • Legal or professional consequences such as an arrest, absenting oneself from work or loss of job


I drank for joy and became miserable.
I drank for friendship and made enemies
I drank for sleep and woke up tied
I drank for courage and became afraid
I drank for relaxation and became the shakes
I drank to feel heavenly and felt like hell.
I drank to talk easier and slurred my speech.
I drank for confidence and became doubtful
I drank for strength and felt weak
I drank for sociability and became argumentative

Treatment for Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a treatable disease and many treatment programs and approaches are available. Treating alcohol addiction can be a complex and challenging process. In order for treatment to be effective, the alcoholic should be seen to want to get sober. The recovery process for an alcoholic is a lifetime commitment.

An outpatient or inpatient addiction treatment program lasting anywhere from 30 days to a year is required to help the alcoholic handle the physical withdrawal symptoms and emotional challenges that will ensue after cessation of drinking. Other treatments include drug therapy, psychological counseling, or nutritional changes. In general, alcohol addiction is treated with several different methods and treatment may vary from one person to the next. It’s important that the alcoholic develops a personal recovery program that will work for him and support his long-term sobriety.

When an alcoholic stops drinking suddenly, they will experience some level of withdrawal symptoms which include mild shakes, confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, autonomic instability and death. Long-time, heavy drinkers who decide to quit drinking should seek medical assistance first.


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