Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated. However, people can and do recover from Alcoholism. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2012 an estimated 7.2% of American adults aged 18 and older, had a diagnosable alcohol use disorder. Men have alcohol use disorder almost twice as much as women. In 2012, 855,000 Adolescents ages 12-17 had this disorder.
There are two main hallmarks of physical dependence to alcohol. One, the body will build a tolerance which is a natural process. As tolerance builds a requirement of higher volumes is requires in order to feel similar effects. Two, the body will go through withdrawal if the intake ceases or there is a significant reduction in the usual amount.
Along with physical dependence, a person will feel psychological addiction as well; this refers to how the person’s thoughts and actions become geared toward obtaining alcohol and consuming it with no regard to important responsibilities.
Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, confusion, tremors, racing heartbeat, nausea, and sleeplessness.
There are several ways to get help for Alcoholism. Call the 24-Hour Helpline at 800-622-2255. Go to www.ncadd.org/get-help/take-the-test and take the self-test if you are struggling with alcoholism and addiction. You can go to www.ncadd.org/get-help to get help. Always talk to your primary physician for any questions and concerns about your overall health.
Written by LaVella Head