What Is Alcoholism and How Does It Start?

What Is Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a severe and dangerous form of alcohol abuse. If a person is an alcoholic, then they are unable to manage drinking habits. Another term for alcoholism is alcohol use disorder. There are three types of alcohol use disorder: mild, moderate and severe. Each type has several warning signs and can be harmful and dangerous. If untreated, any of the forms of alcohol abuse can become uncontrollable and deadly.

Alcoholics may feel like they cannot function without drinking. This can cause a wide variety of problems and negatively impact career goals, personal relationships, and physical and mental health. Chronic and heavy alcohol abuse can cause severe and sometimes irreversible damage to the body and brain over time.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcoholism, please get treatment right away. You don’t have to go through this alone. Treatment programs not only make recovery more comfortable but also more statistically likely to have lasting results. There are many forms of treatment available, including free and convenient options, to help you or someone you know to overcome addiction and live a happy, healthy, sober life.

The biggest struggle in my life was the constant feeling of emptiness and being alone. Substances turned on me, and they were no longer fun nor a solution. My addiction put me in risky situations… Quitting was out of the question, I was powerless.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Sometimes alcoholism is glaringly obvious, but other times it can be hard to detect. It is possible to be an alcoholic and not know it. There are also functional alcoholics that can function normally despite their alcohol abuse, making detection difficult. In most cases, alcoholism occurs in stages and gets progressively worse over time. Although recovery is possible at any stage, just like any illness, it is easier and more likely to have a successful recovery if caught in the early stages.

Some of the warning signs of alcoholism include, but are not limited to:

  • Attempting and failing to limit alcohol intake
  • Physically or mentally craving alcohol when you’re not drinking
  • Prioritizing alcohol above personal responsibilities
  • Drinking in unsafe or inappropriate circumstances (such as while caring for children, while driving, etc.)
  • Financial troubles due to over-spending on alcohol
  • Acting out of character or making risky decisions after drinking alcohol