Are there any differences in Alcoholism and Alcohol abuse? Some might think that the two are exactly the same, just used in different terms. When hearing someone being called an alcoholic, one automatically assume that the person can drink large amounts of liquor each and every day as if it was water. Hearing someone being called an alcohol abuse, one may think of someone who drinks because they are coping with something personal. They are each in a category of their own and have very different definitions. One would also question if alcohol abuse can develop into alcoholism, if they are hereditary, or if one is more serious than the other. Although alcohol dependence and alcohol use disorder are individual issues, understanding their causes could help to distinguish how each should be treated. Alcoholism is a chronic disease that interferes with one’s mental and physical health. Another term for alcoholism is Alcohol dependant or Alcohol Disorder, which is when the body developed an addiction to alcohol. It is genetically inherited and can also develop through one’s environment. If a family member suffered from alcoholism, and you were a witness to this disease, most likely you too will inherit it. Alcoholism could last a lifetime with ongoing cravings of liquor and the complete disregard of one’s deteriorating health due to over drinking.
Some alcoholics are not drunks, and can function normally with large amounts of liquor in their system. Once a person stops drinking, they may experience anxiety attacks due to the body’s unfamiliar state. Due to the body’s need for alcohol, alcoholics can not stop drinking for legal, health, nor family issues. A mental change can’t help someone whose body chemically needs alcohol, which could result in homelessness, jobless, and even death. It can be difficult to witness a love one have alcoholism issues. The best thing to do is try and get that person help as soon as possible. The first step is to learn exactly what an alcohol disorder is so that one can correctly approach a user.
Calling someone an alcoholic could be a huge step back in getting them the treatment they need. Know exactly what to say and how to say it, may be a deciding factor in whether the person seeks treatment or not. The family member should say it in a way that makes the alcoholic feel they are not alone in the process. Loved ones should find the perfect time and place to confront the alcoholic without them feeling overwhelmed. Listening to any objections the sick person may have, and not forcing the person to get help, may actually be a step closer to treatment. Remaining supportive throughout treatment helps keep the alcoholic open to continuing the process. After treatment, it is important to keep the loved one on a positive track. Continuing support, can keep addictive substances away from the newly treated patient.
It is said that alcoholism is genetically passed down from generations to generations. Some people who are aware of alcoholism in their families tend to shy away from drinking, in fear of becoming addicted. Others will develop tendencies that favor an alcoholic, even if they aren’t. Studies show that alcoholism is indeed genetic, but they do know know what genes are specifically targeted in ones DNA. On the other hand, they do know that it targets a person’s genes, and that in fact alcoholism is created through a combination of genes. Even though alcoholism is inherited, it is triggered by environmental factors. Depression and stress are common triggers that could cause someone to turn to drinking. Genetic makeup only accounts for half of the alcoholic equation. There are also countless environmental factors (work, stress, relationships) that may lead to alcoholism.(Juergens, 2018) Alcohol abuse is still very dangerous, but it is curable. Alcohol abuse is when a person has an excessive drinking pattern that could harm one’s health, or cause someone to perform dangerous actions. Due to the dangers of drinking alcohol heavily on a daily basis, Alcohol abuse could eventually develop into alcoholism.
In addition to the harmful side effects, alcohol abuse can be triggered by depression, anxiety, or any life changing circumstance. It is not hereditary like alcoholism, but still could have an effect on the ones around you. Anyone could become an alcohol abuser by drinking way over their body limit, to the point you cause harm to yourself or others. Luckily, those who abuse alcohol can change their life around and ditch the craving of liquor. Usually it takes for something major to happen for a person to stop drinking. If a abuser killed someone while driving intoxicated, that could be a trigger for them to stop, and give up the lifestyle they adopted. In majority of countries around the world, alcohol is legal and has limited restrictions such as age or religion. In America, it is common for a person to drink heavy amounts of liquor, especially when celebrating birthdays, on college campuses, and at entertaining events.
Due to the normality of drinking, it is usually overlooked when a person is consuming heavy amounts of alcohol. It is often overlooked and associated with a person having a good time instead of a serious issue that may need an intervention. People realize the issue of a loved one when it is too late and tragedy has struck resulting in arrest or death. If signs are ignored, then addiction and potential alcoholism could develop. Those who abuse alcohol, are also at risk of developing Cirrhosis of the Liver, which is the most common killer for heavy drinkers. Developing a personal drinking amount will still allow the joys of social drinking without the dangers of over drinking. Anyone could become an alcohol abuser.
Drinking heavy to the point you are drunk is considered alcohol abuse. People become extremely intoxicated and decide to get behind the wheel without a regard for their life or anyone else’s. Alcohol reduces the way your brain functions, your judgement, and our muscle control. On average about 29 people die from alcohol related accidents per day which is 1 death every 50 minutes. Your stomach and small intestines absorb the alcohol, it then travels through your blood, and finally lands in your livers so it can be metabolized. Authorities can measure the amount of liquor in your system by checking your Blood Alcohol Concentration.
Anything under 0.08 grams is considered safe to drive, even though deadly accidents are still reported with a low BAC. Authorities take drunk driving serious, and could charge a person for a misdemeanor or even a felony. Studies show that 1 out of 6 kids under the age of 14 are killed in drunk driving related incidents. 50 percent of those, the parent was the one driving drunk. Alcoholism and Alcohol abuse have many similarities they may be hard to differentiate if not researched. Understanding the underlying problem could help prevent a loved one from developing alcoholism or abuse. Both could cause liver failure, mental damage, and even death if not treated properly.
Drinking policies need to be strengthened worldwide to prevent accidents and tragedies related to alcohol from occurring. While alcohol brings pleasure to many, harmful consequences arise when handled incorrectly. Major issues become apparent when alcohol is mishandled whether a person is addicted or leisurely consuming liquor. Alcoholism treatment is more complex and time consuming than it is for Alcohol Abuse. Avoiding alcohol at all cost is the only proven way to prevent alcoholism or alcohol abuse from developing. Understanding the main causes of each, will allow someone to differentiate the two accurately without confusion and treat them correctly.