April is Alcohol Awareness month. Established in 1987 by the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) to help reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism by sharing information and education on alcohol abuse and recovery every April.
Alcoholism, can be evidenced by a loss of control such as not being able to stop drinking once you have started, physical dependence with includes withdrawal symptoms, and tolerance which is defined as the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to achieve the same “high.”
Alcoholism is viewed as a disease and the craving to drink; an alcoholic feels they can be very strong. Those plagued with an alcohol use issue will continue to drink despite, serious family, social, health, or legal consequences.
The following are a list of frequently asked questions in regards to alcohol abuse and alcoholism:
- Is alcoholism inherited?
- There is evidence to suggest that genetics plays a part in the development of alcoholism. Genes clearly do contribute and research indicates that multiple genes play a role in a person’s risk of developing alcohol use disorder. Having said that lifestyle is certainly also a factor.
- Can alcoholism be cured?
- No alcoholism is not curable.
- Can alcoholism be treated?
- There is significant evidence that shows that treatment is effective and recovery is possible. With support and treatment, many people are able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives.
- Can a problem drinker just cut down?
- This is a solution that rarely works. Abstaining from alcohol is typically the best course of action.
- Who is at risk for becoming an alcoholic? Alcoholism affects all genders, races, and nationalities. Approximately 17% of men and 8% of women will be dependent on alcohol in their lifetime. Alcohol problems are highest among young adults 18-29.
- How can you tell if someone has an alcohol problem?
- Answering the following questions can help you find out if you or a loved one has a drinking problem.
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you had a drink in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
- Have you had problems connected to your drinking in the past year?
- Have you experienced blackouts?
One yes answer suggests you may have an alcohol problem. Please consult with a doctor or healthcare provider.
Alcoholism is a major health problem in the United States. Long-term alcohol use can cause serious health consequences and can affect every organ in your body, including your brain. 88,000 deaths a year are attributed to excessive alcohol use. If you or someone you love has an alcohol problem, contact New Bridge Foundation today for a free assessment.