Alcohol Abuse Treatments

Written by Christa Gatewood
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Alcoholism and alcohol abuse affect people across every barrier of socio-economic background, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. It is truly an equal opportunity problem, and it is responsible for approximately 100,000 deaths a year in this country. One out of every three Americans reports being affected by alcohol abuse.

The Difference Between Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

When we think of alcohol abuse we often think of alcoholism. Alcoholism is defined as an alcohol dependency that is characterized by strongly craving alcohol, experiencing withdrawal symptoms with the absence of alcohol, losing control when drinking has begun, and building a high tolerance. Not all alcohol-related problems are caused by alcoholism. Some people can abuse alcohol without being physically dependent on alcohol.

People who drink too much and too often are abusing alcohol. This behavior can lead to problems at work, school, and home. While their bodies may not be physically dependent, alcohol abusers do have an addiction at some level. In order to treat alcohol abusers, the abuser has to first recognize that there is a problem. It can be a challenge to recognize an alcohol problem when alcoholism is not involved. Ask yourself or your loved one a few key questions in order to determine if there is an alcohol abuse problem. How do you feel about your drinking? Are you embarrassed or guilty? How do others feel about your drinking? Are they complaining that it is too much? Do you drink in the morning or alone? The answers to these questions should shine some light on the situation.

If you determine there is an alcohol abuse problem, the next step is to seek help. A counselor can help identify any other underlying problems contributing to the alcohol abuse. With regular counseling this is a problem that can be fixed.

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