Who Are The Alcoholics
To know them, requires defining the disease Alcoholism first.
The definition in simplest terms: A chronic disease in which the person suffering from it has a dependence on
alcohol, experiences withdrawal symptoms when trying to avoid or decrease intake of alcohol, suffers bodily organ
damage due to the alcohol and has a decreased ability to function at work or in relationships as a direct result of
The disease Alcoholism has been shown in studies to be the third leading cause of preventable death in the
United States. Alcoholism can have a damaging affect on every organ system in the human body.
Knowing this, we can see that the Alcoholic is someone who is going to suffer long-term from the results of this
very devastating disease.
The damage is not only to the sufferers body, but also to every aspect of life work, home, socially.
The outward appearance and mannerisms of an alcoholic does not endear them to those who might otherwise offer,
through compassion, some assistance to them.
An alcoholic does not wear a sign proclaiming that he is suffering from a disease. Society looks at the
alcoholic and may see instead invisible signs that say: low-life, scum, deserter, waste, bum etc.
Society as a whole tends to blame the alcoholic for the destruction surrounding them and demands that they just
get their act together and stop immediately. The sad fact is, that the alcoholic cannot stop drinking immediately.
Treatment for alcoholism is many faceted and involves time and commitment, because of the addictive nature of the
According to the US National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Study, the person suffering from Alcoholism can
be seen in the following statistics: Those who currently drink alcohol - 44% Those who formerly drank alcohol - 22%
Those who abused or were dependent on alcohol over the past year - 7.5-9.5% Lifetime occurrence - 13.5-23.5% The
person suffering from Alcoholism can be male, female, elderly, middle-aged, young adult, a teen, even a child as
young as twelve or thirteen. One shudders to think of any younger possibilities.
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
You may also find this person in the company of family members who also suffer from this same disease.
The Alcoholic can also be seen in the affects that alcohol renders on the body's systems promoting further
diseases such as Cirrhosis of the liver, or breast, mouth and oropharyngeal, liver and esophageal cancers.
Alcoholism can even contribute to hemorrhagic stroke.
Recent studies have determined that genetics plays a vital role in the development of
alcoholism but the exact genes or genetic pathways to addiction have not been found.
We notice the Alcoholic in the following scenarios playing the part of the accused, victim, participant or as a
statistic in some national news story: Vehicular accidents Homicides Suicides Divorces Domestic Violence
Alcoholism affects not just the one who consumes alcohol; it has a devastating affect on the lives of those
around them as well.
You can find the Alcoholic mirrored in the sad eyes of three quarters of all American foster children and in
the eyes of the 60 70% of abused spouses and partners who suffer from domestic violence and report it.