Wondering what makes a person an alcoholic? Learn more about alcoholism and treatment
An individual with an alcohol addiction cannot control their desire for alcohol, nor the amount they drink. Alcohol addiction can be physical, psychological or both, and the alcoholic will continue to drink even though the physical symptoms of alcohol abuse is destroying his health and life. The adverse effects of alcohol addiction will eventually surface and the alcoholic will begin to become aware of them. There are more than sixty diseases that have a direct link to alcohol abuse, and some physical symptoms of alcohol abuse can cause permanent damage to the brain and body.
Why People Drink
There are a variety of reasons why people begin to drink. Drinking is an acceptable social behavior that may be expected by friends and business colleagues during social gatherings. Alcoholics will drink during lunch, supper, in the evening and on weekends as a part of social bonding, to fit in with a peer or professional group. Others drink to escape their problems, and some people are binge drinkers, especially when they are in the company of other heavy drinkers. Binge drinking is a dangerous practice that can cause alcohol poisoning. Other reasons why people drink are:
- They may have financial problems and cannot make ends meet, or they are in financial debt.
- Some people drink because they have marital problems and are facing separation or divorce.
- The alcoholic or a family member may become sick with a terminal illness.
- The loss of a loved one is more than some people can bear and may cause overwhelming sadness and depression.
- People who suffer from chronic pain may try to self-medicate with alcohol.
- Seniors who are sick, or alone and isolated, may drink to ease their pain.
- Mental illness is another reason why people drink.
Alcohol addiction is a chronic, progressive disease that can cause permanent physical and psychological damage. Some of the many symptoms of alcohol abuse are:
- Delayed reflexes, stumbling and poor balance, slurred speech, pancreatitis
- Blackouts, loss of consciousness, liver disease, cancer, heart attack, stroke,
- Unable to stop drinking or reduce intake, binge drinking, memory problems
- Dangerous or risky behavior, violent outbursts, neglectful of duties and responsibilities
- Central nervous system impairment, brain damage, mental disorders
Functional alcoholics are capable of handling their family responsibilities and also work and socialize. Although they may drink as much as other alcoholics, it doesn’t affect them in the same way, and they are able to maintain a façade of wellness. Functional alcoholic symptoms are:
- Functional alcoholics usually can’t stop after one drink and will continue to crave more alcohol.
- Functional alcoholic symptoms include constantly obsessing about when you will be able to drink again.
- High functioning alcoholics often behave in uncharacteristic ways while drinking and they often repeat these same patterns of behavior.
What makes a person an alcoholic? Some people become psychologically addicted to drinking alcohol and this is a legitimate addiction. Other people have a genetic predisposition to be physically addicted to alcohol because their body is unable to metabolize the alcohol properly.
Alcoholics should never try to stop drinking without professional help because withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening. The safest and most effective way to stop drinking is at an alcohol rehab center where addiction specialists can assist the alcoholic through each phase of recovery. If you are having functional alcoholic symptoms, or symptoms of alcohol abuse, you should begin to make plans today to start your recovery treatment at an alcohol rehab center.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.