Alcohol plays a significant role in many social events, gatherings, and even personal relaxation techniques. But when does casual drinking cross the line? And how can you tell when problematic drinking escalates to full-fledged alcoholism? Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers aims to clarify these distinctions as part of our mission to educate and inform people about the realities of alcohol abuse.
Alcoholism: America’s Escalating Public Health Crisis
Alcoholism is undoubtedly the nation’s most pressing public health issue, and its implications only seem to be intensifying. Far from being a mere psychological or moral lapse, alcoholism is a genuine physical addiction. Sadly, while millions of Americans grapple with this disease every year, only a fraction of them actively pursue treatment.
One way to look at alcohol use is on a spectrum from problem drinkers to heavy drinkers and, finally, alcoholics.
- Problem drinkers may consume alcohol in ways or amounts that are harmful to themselves or others. However, they don’t necessarily drink regularly. They might experience adverse consequences such as DUIs or financial problems, but can adjust their drinking habits when provided with accurate information or given convincing reasons.
- Heavy drinkers regularly consume large quantities of alcohol, such as in binge drinking, but haven’t developed a dependence. While they may not show signs of physical addiction, consistent alcohol abuse can still harm their health and could lead them down the path of addiction.
- Alcoholics have become physically and psychologically dependent on alcohol. The urge to drink is so strong that they find it challenging to overcome, even when it harms them or their loved ones. People with alcohol use disorder may want to quit drinking, but often cannot accomplish this goal without help due to the physical withdrawal symptoms they experience. They drink larger quantities over longer periods than intended and spend a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from alcohol.
The Path Forward: Recovery and Nutrition
Contrary to popular misconceptions, alcoholism isn’t something you can “snap out of” with enough willpower or psychotherapy. It requires comprehensive and holistic treatment, including nutritional therapy to help you restore your physical health and lack of internal equilibrium created by excessive alcohol consumption.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to understand that there is no “cure” for alcoholism. Recovered alcoholics cannot safely return to casual or social drinking. Since the risk of relapse remains significant, continued abstinence is the safest path.
One Phone Call Can Save Your Life
Recognizing the difference between being a problem drinker, a heavy drinker, and an alcoholic is vital. This awareness helps you redefine your relationship with alcohol and informs the necessary steps for recovery. At Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers, we’re here to provide the guidance, support, and expertise you need to embark on this journey. When you call our admissions team, you will get answers to all your pressing questions and learn what getting help looks like. Talk to someone who cares today.