February 1, 2008
Back to the Basics
What is alcoholism? The general definition from Webster’s is: 1. continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks; 2. a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.
To generalize even further, alcoholism is having a problem with the consumption of alcohol. There are different types of alcohol problems.
Binge drinking is usually defined as drinking large quantities of alcohol. This number, however, is not very large at 5 for men and 4 for women. The most pronounce trait of binge drinking is the act of drinking with the sole purpose of getting drunk. This very dangerous activity is most prevalent among younger drinkers, often in college or high school.
This type or phase of alcoholism is used to define those who continue to drink despite the problems it causes in their life. Someone who continues to drink regularly after numerous DUI’s would be a prime example. Alcohol abuse is often the long-term effect of binge drinking.
Alcohol Abuse, left untreated, can and often does lead to dependency. These alcoholics have a strong craving for alcohol as well as a loss of control over their drinking habits. They can also experience symptoms of withdrawal and increased tolerance. Dependency can lead to serious medical and psychological problems for not only the abuser but their loved ones as well.