Is Alcohol Really Addictive?
Alcoholism is a condition where a person has a very strong compulsive need to drink alcohol. There is no connection between the amount one drinks, the type of alcohol they drink or the length of time a person has been drinking.
Because of the strength of this craving it can feel as strong as the need that a non-alcoholic would associate with the necessities of food and water. This desire for alcohol can easily cause a wide range of problems for the alcoholic, their friends, family and professional life.
One of the biggest questions that arise when it comes to alcohol use and abuse is whether or not the substance is actually addictive. Is alcohol physically addictive? Is alcohol emotionally or psychologically addictive? How is alcohol actually capable of impacting the alcoholic abusing it?
If you think that you might be addicted to alcohol or if you think that you might be on your way to becoming addicted, then it is imperative that you find answers to these questions so that you may better understand what is happening to you and what you can do about it. Resources are available to help you through this process.
The Addictive Nature of Alcohol
There is a huge debate in the mental health world about what alcoholism truly is. Is alcoholism an addiction, or is it a mental illness? Is alcohol really capable of being addictive, or do people simply fall prey to alcoholism because they are mentally weak? It can be difficult to find answers. Someone who is struggling with alcoholism may feel as if everything is their fault, and their inability to get help is due to some weakness they cannot control.
Here is the least that you need to know about the subject. Alcohol is an addictive substance. The more that we drink and the more alcohol that we abuse the more that our bodies are going to come to depend on it. What happens is that we develop a physical tolerance to the alcohol over time. When this happens, the body tells us that we are not getting the same impact that we once did from drinking. When we could have become drunk after two drinks in the past, it now takes four. This is how addiction forms to all substances, legal and illegal. As the tolerance grows, we need more and more of the addictive substance in order to get the same results. Then when we stop taking the substance all together our bodies’ rebel in the form of withdrawal.
What is so ironic about the fact that we become addicted to alcohol is the fact that alcohol is perceived to be a poison by the body. In order for us to ingest alcohol safely, surviving after the process, the body has to alter itself in a significant manner. The brain and the liver specifically undergo a series of changes when you begin to consume alcohol. They are working to adapt to the presence of alcohol in the body in order to keep the body functioning in a healthy manner. Becoming intoxicated is actually the body telling you that something is wrong.
Alcohol Addiction and the Body
The fact that your body is attempting to respond to the toxin in your body is going to mean that your brain and your liver are going to work very hard when you are drinking. Eventually, should you be consuming enough alcohol over a period of time, the brain and the liver are going to sustain damage as a result of this alcohol toxicity. The toxins that are found in the alcohol can cause serious long term damage to the liver and the brain as well as other vital organs in the body. When you get to the point where this occurs, unfortunately your body is going to sustain damage that cannot be repaired. Eventually this could cause death.
Alcohol’s primary addictive nature is psychological. Alcohol is capable of easing anxiety and stress. As a result, many people come to use alcohol as a type of crutch for any situation where stress is caused. The more and more that a person continues to drink, the more they are going to convince themselves that they rely on alcohol simply to get through the day unscathed.
Some of the most common ways alcohol use can become a problem is when an individual starts drinking in order to avoid stressful situations, drinking all by oneself at all hours throughout the day, drinking to the point of excess where one might experience blackouts and feeling as if you need to get another drink just to be able to get through the day.
To someone who is an alcoholic, alcohol is capable of solving problems however; this is truly not the case. Alcohol is merely helping the individual avoid their problems in the short term rather than in the long term. The truth of the matter is that drinking is really going to cause more problems than it would ever be capable of solving. The true addictive nature of the alcohol is going to stem from the compulsive nature of the person to drink increasing amounts of alcohol in order to avoid thoughts of issues or to block out issues that the individual does not want to deal with.
Something that you really need to understand about alcoholism and alcohol addiction is the fact that many people are actually predisposed genetically to becoming alcoholics. To these particular people, any sort of excessive drinking is actually a dangerous game. The reason for this is because your genetic makeup is something that is going to be difficult for you to overcome.
People that have a family history involving alcohol abuse are going to be significantly more at risk for developing alcoholism of their very own in comparison to those who do not. As someone who already has alcohol abuse and addiction in your family, you must pay particular attention to the risks involved with liver disease, death, brain damage and other problems that occur as a result of excessive drinking, alcoholism and addiction.
Is Alcohol Addictive?
Alcohol is not physically addictive in the same sense that many other drugs are. However, alcohol is quite easily emotionally and psychologically addictive. People can fall into an addiction pattern with alcohol much in the same way as they would with another substance like illicit drugs. Just because alcohol is not as physically addictive as illegal substances; that does not mean that you can drink to excess without worrying over your health and well-being.
Alcohol certainly has addictive properties, and people all over the world are struggling with addictions to it. Alcohol dependency is a serious matter that you simply cannot ignore. If you or someone you know is struggling with a problem relating to alcoholism, then rest assured that there is help out there in the form of drug and alcoholism rehab programs and facilities (800-303-2482). The right help is available; you simply need to know where to look and how to find it in order to succeed at overcoming a problem with alcoholism.