FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 1
Many people who have relatives, friends or work colleagues who are alcoholics want answers to some of the
more commonly asked questions about alcoholism in order that they can understand the disease better. Let us
shed some light on some of these frequently asked questions.
What kind of a drug is alcohol?
Alcohol is a depressant that serves to slow down the work of the central nervous system and by so doing, it
impairs a person’s judgement and memory, decreases their motor coordination, decreases their intellectual
performance as well as decreasing their ability to react quickly to external stimuli.
When alcohol is consumed in extremely large doses it can be devastating to the respiratory system because it
slows down and then can cause the drinker to fall into a coma or to die very suddenly.
First of all, what is alcoholism exactly?
Alcoholism is, "A disease that includes the craving for alcohol and continued drinking despite repeated
alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job, or getting into trouble with the law." Alcoholism is often
referred to as "alcohol dependence syndrome" and the four main characteristics of it are craving, loss of
control, physical dependence and tolerance.
What exactly are the four main characteristics of alcoholism?
A craving for alcohol is a compulsion or a very strong need to consume alcohol while loss of control refers to
the repetitive inability to cease drinking once it has started. A person has become physically dependent on alcohol
when they experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, shakiness and sweating after a long bout of
drinking, which is often called a binge.
Often the symptoms that accompany physical dependency can be relieved by consuming another form of a sedating
drug or else by consuming more alcohol. Finally the more an individual drinks, the greater their tolerance to
Did You Know
The Addictive Side Of Alcoholism Yes, it is a disease, but Alcoholism is also an
addiction. It is the undeniable need for a drink that makes if an addiction.
It is the inability to stop at just one drink, and the level of difficulty in
quitting, requiring professional assistance and the need for a support group to be able to kick the
drinking habit; that makes Alcoholism an addiction.
Alcohol is after all a drug. As an addiction the condition is a progressive one. It
changes in intensity growing and taking over like weeds in a garden. Addiction robs the drinker of
the ability to see beyond the haze of alcohol to the reality of situations.
They may see an exaggerated reality that is fuzzy and unreal. Addiction makes
choices for you that you would not otherwise make. Addiction often takes the romance out of
How common is alcoholism throughout the United States?
There are an estimated 14 million individual presently residing in the United States who either abuse
alcohol on a regular basis or are deemed alcoholics. This works out to be every one in three adults.
The highest rates of alcohol dependency appear to be in young adults ranging from the age of 18 to 29 years
of age while the lowest rates are for those adults who are 65 years of age and older. In regards to the many
ethnic groups residing in the United States, the rates vary although no current research points to alcoholism
being any higher in one group in relation to others.
There are several million other adults in the United States who may not be alcoholics but are still problem
Alcoholism, regardless of whether the alcoholic totally abstains from alcohol or just drinks
in moderation, is a controllable disease.
However, alcoholism is not considered curable because the alcoholic can relapse back into
the acute phase of the disease many times with just one drink or one episode of over
In order to help the loved one work through their alcohol addiction, the family members must
accept that they did not cause the alcoholism, they cannot cure the alcoholism, and they cannot
control the alcoholism.
What are some of the effects on the body that alcoholism causes?
Those who are heavy drinkers are more prone to certain types of cancer, in particular those that develop
in the throat, the larynx (or voice box), the liver and the esophagus.
Heavy drinkers are also prone to the development of cirrhosis of the liver, which is fatal. Brain damage
can occur as a result of alcoholism as can high blood pressure, an increased chance of a heart attack or
stroke and problems with the functioning of the immune system.
Women who consume alcohol during their pregnancies increase their chances of doing harm to their
developing fetuses. These disastrous health effects are only the tip of the iceberg of the harem that
alcohol can wreak on the body.