Alcoholism is a broad term for the abuse of alcohol. In most cases, it refers to the treatable disease of alcohol addiction.
There is no set number of drinks you need to consume in order to be an ‘alcoholic’. Instead, it depends on a number of conditions. Have you ever done something you regret while drinking? Has alcohol ever affected your performance at work? Do you neglect the welfare of your friends and family due to alcohol?
In short, if you let alcohol control certain parts of your life, you may be considered an alcoholic. Chronic drinkers let alcohol affect multiple aspects of their lives. Whether it’s their family, their career, or their marriage, alcohol abuse can cause a significant amount of damage.
How much do I have to drink in order to be an alcoholic?
What is alcoholism? Instead of defining alcoholism as a set number of drinks per week, you should ask yourself a few questions about your use of alcohol:
- Do you drink alcohol in order to change your mood?
- Has alcohol changed the way people think about you? Has it negatively affected your reputation?
- Do you crave alcohol at a certain time of day? Do you get anxious on days when you don’t drink?
- Do you disrespect the people around you while drinking?
- Has drinking negatively affected your motivation or your performance at work?
- Answering yes to any of these questions could mean you have an alcohol problem. With any addiction, the first step on the road to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Once you’ve acknowledged that, treatment becomes a much easier process.
Recovering from alcoholism
The most important thing to know about alcoholism is that it is a treatable disease. There are a few different ways to recover from alcohol addiction:
Inpatient alcoholism clinics
Many people recover from alcoholism at inpatient clinics. At these clinics, the alcohol addict stays overnight while being monitored by medical professionals and addiction specialists. Recovering from any addiction can be difficult, but in an environment like this, alcoholism treatment has the best possible chance of success.
Outpatient clinics and other options
There are also outpatient care centers and alcoholism support groups. However, these are not always an effective solution. It’s easy to develop a chemical dependency on alcohol, and when that chemical dependency develops, your body relies on alcohol in order to function. When you stop drinking alcohol, you’re going to experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can range from headaches and nausea to full-blown seizures, hallucinations, and black-outs. If you start to experience these symptoms, you don’t want to be sitting at home. Instead, you want to be close to medical professionals and addiction therapists. Unless you’re attending an inpatient treatment center, you’re probably not getting the support you need.
Inpatient care vs. outpatient treatment
Because the withdrawal effects of alcohol are so severe, outpatient treatment clinics are not ideal – especially if you’ve developed a strong chemical dependency upon alcohol. Suffering through alcohol withdrawal symptoms at home can be extremely painful and dangerous to your health. In some cases, people have even died from alcohol withdrawal symptoms. That means the decision between inpatient and outpatient care can be a choice between life or death.
Conclusion – Do you need alcoholism treatment?
If you’re wondering “What is alcoholism?”, then there is no set definition. Just because somebody drinks 5 to 10 drinks a week doesn’t make them an alcoholic.
Instead, alcoholism is about what you use alcohol for, and how you behave while using alcohol. When used responsibly, alcohol is a social lubricant. When alcohol is abused, it becomes a destructive force that can tear apart families and ruin lives.
If you’re starting to feel that alcohol is negatively affecting your life, then it’s important to seek treatment sooner rather than later. It’s never too late to start your road to recovery.
The most important thing to know about ‘what is alcoholism’ is that it’s a treatable disease. Because it’s a treatable disease, you always have the ability to change your life for the better.
To eliminate alcohol abuse from your life, get in touch with an alcohol rehab center today. Whether you’re ready to begin treatment or you just want to find out more about ‘what is alcoholism’, an alcohol addiction treatment clinic can help.