January 12, 2007
If Alcoholism Is A Problem You Can Stop Drinking
Many people do not understand the facts about alcoholism. Knowing the facts may lead to a person being ready to stop drinking.
What is alcoholism? When is it time to consider the choice to stop drinking? Once you have the answers to these questions it may be easier to understand the problem and deal with it in a positive way.
There are all kinds of people who enjoy a drink from time to time with friends or in social settings. People sometimes drink at weddings, parties or other gatherings.
Unfortunately this type of drinking differs from the nearly 14 million Americans who are alcoholics. These numbers do not include the several million more adults who take part in drinking that can be harmful and lead to health problems. Binge drinking and heavy drinking on a regular basis are part of these numbers.
As with other risky and dangerous habits, the misuse of alcohol can have very negative consequences. Some of these consequences are life threatening.
When people engage in heavy drinking they are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer of the liver, throat, larynx or esophagus. Heavy drinking can also result in brain damage, cirrhosis of the liver, immune system problems and often causes problems for an unborn fetus.
Drinking heavily is costly. It has been determined that alcohol-related problems cost our society at least $185 billion per year. Also consider the personal cost of relationships that are ruined, jobs that are lost and families that are broken because of alcohol abuse.
Another term for alcoholism is alcohol dependence. Alcoholism is a disease and there are four symptoms associated with is.
A craving to drink is one symptom. This craving is a very strong need to drink. Another symptom of alcoholism is tolerance. This means that a person develop the need to drink more and more alcohol so that she can get “high.” The third symptom of alcoholism is loss of control.
When this happens a person becomes unable to limit his drinking on any given occasion. The fourth symptom of alcoholism is physical dependence. When alcohol is not used a person experiences withdrawal symptoms like shakiness, nausea, sweating or anxiety.
If these symptoms sound too familiar to you it may be time to stop using alcohol and seek professional help. Many alcoholics feel they can do this by themselves and there are people who have succeeded. Others have found professional help and support is much more successful.
There are people who can handle drinking and never have any of the symptoms. They often do not understand why alcoholics can’t use some willpower and kick the habit. Alcoholism has very little to do with willpower. The craving for alcohol often can override the strongest amount of willpower.
All kinds of people who suffer from alcoholism have been able to stop drinking. It can be difficult and painful to stop drinking but it is possible.