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Know About alcoholism

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a severe form of alcohol abuse that involves excessive consumption of alcohol and the inability to manage drinking habits. It is a disease that is described as a pattern of drinking uncontrollably despite the negative effects that alcohol can have on a person’s health and daily life. People who suffer from alcoholism often feel as though they cannot function normally without alcohol. 


There are 5 types of alcoholics:

– Young adult alcoholic

– Young antisocial alcoholic

– Functional alcoholic

– Intermediate familial alcoholic

– Chronic severe alcoholic


Different types of alcoholics will suffer from alcoholism for different reasons. These categories of alcoholics are based on stats of the age of the individual, the age they started drinking, the age they developed alcohol dependence, whether or not there is a family history of alcoholism, and any mental health conditions. However, no matter the age and category, alcoholism can create long-term problems that damage a person’s health, career, and relationships. 


Signs & Symptoms

alcoholism | Addiction Treatment Helper

Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

There are various signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse. While many signs are recognizable, others may be more difficult to identify, especially if the person is covering their alcohol abuse by drinking in private and isolating themselves from others. 

Mild alcohol abuse can be easily overlooked, but symptoms may snowball into another, which can cause alcohol abuse to spiral out of control quickly. 

Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol abuse are:

  • -Using alcohol again and again, even when it puts the person in danger and causes problems in relationships
  • -Short-term memory loss or temporary blackouts 
  • -Extreme mood swings
  • -Wants alcohol so badly that they can’t think of anything else and they make excuses for drinking 
  • -Choosing to drink over other responsibilities and obligations
  • -Becoming isolated and distant from family and friends 
  • -Drinking alone or in secrecy
  • -Cravings and urges to drink alcohol
  • -Experiencing withdrawal syndrome when the buzz wore off, such as shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, increased heart rate, seizures, or hallucinations. 

No matter the symptoms, alcohol abuse symptoms should never be ignored. If you think that you or a loved one may be struggling with alcoholism, there are several screening tools that can help with determining whether someone has alcoholism.

A well-known test called Cut-Annoyed-Guilty-Eye (CAGE) is a screening questionnaire that helps identify potential problems with alcohol. 

The four CAGE screening questions are:

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get over a hangover?


If you have answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it’s important to seek treatment sooner rather than later to help you get back to the things you enjoy most in life.

People who are chronic drinkers of alcohol have a higher risk of heart-related issues than non-alcohol drinkers.

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Effects and Dangers of Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse takes a serious toll on the brain and different organs of the body, especially the liver, which helps break down and remove harmful substances from your body. As the liver becomes increasingly damaged due to the constant breaking down of alcohol, it has a harder time removing toxic substances from the body.

Alcoholism can also cause abnormal activation of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas which can lead to inflammation known as pancreatitis. Overtime alcohol can also damage tissues in the digestive tract, preventing your intestines from digesting food and absorbing nutrients. For people who drink heavily and constantly, ulcers and hemorrhoids are common due to dehydration in the body. Ulcers can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early on.

Long-term alcohol abuse causes damage to the skeletal and muscle systems by preventing the body from keeping bones strong. Alcoholism can cause bones to become thinner and increase the likeliness of bone fractures due to osteoporosis. 

People who are chronic drinkers of alcohol have a higher risk of heart-related issues than non-alcohol drinkers. Thus, people who suffer from alcohol abuse are more likely to have difficulty pumping blood through the body, have high blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat. This may cause the person to have a stroke or heart attack. 

The effects and dangers of alcohol abuse are serious and can include irreversible damage that could lead to death. Other long-term effects of alcoholism include depression, neurological impairment, brain damage, cirrhosis of the liver, compromised immune system, nerve damage, alcohol poisoning, mouth and throat cancer, and gastritis which is an inflammation of the protective lining of the stomach. 

Alcoholism affects people from all walks of life. Let’s take a look at some national stats on alcoholism.

Statistics on Alcoholism

15 Million


  • According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder in the United States, but less than eight percent of those receive treatment.

5.3 Million


  • In 2018, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that more than 5.3 million women ages 18 and older have an alcohol use disorder. 


Liver Disaster

  • According to the CDC, in 2018, of the 83,517 liver disease deaths, 47.8 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 52,499 liver disease deaths occurred and of that 50.4 percent involved alcohol. Among females, 31,018 liver disease deaths occurred and of that 44.2 percent involved alcohol.


Treatment for Alcoholism

Overcoming an alcohol addiction starts with a treatment program or going to a rehabilitation center that can help address the disease. Alcohol addiction treatment programs provide the appropriate counseling and help guide the user through a safe and effective alcohol medical detox. During the alcohol detox, one may experience intense withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations. Thus, medical alcohol detox from a professional at a treatment center can help prevent discomfort and complications during alcohol withdrawal.

One of the benefits of inpatient treatment is that medical management can assist with medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. Treatment centers are also equipped to help the recovering user find effective ways to manage alcohol cravings. 

After alcohol rehab, the best thing a recovering alcoholic can do to overcome their addiction is to find support for ongoing recovery. Seek help from family and friends to support you in the recovery process; chances are, they’ll be proud of you for taking control of your life again.

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